THE TRANSPORTER (2002)

Directed by: Louise Leterrier, Corey Yuen

Writing credits: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen

Starring: Jason Statham, Qi Shu, Matt Schulze, Francois Berleand, Ric Young

Running time: 92 minutes (U.S.)
Format: DVD, VHS
Rating: PG-13 (violence and sensuality)
Genre: Crime/Action/Thriller

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Really, this movie is just an excuse for Jason Statham to show off his martial arts skills. As skills go, his aren't bad. And as buff bodies go, his isn't bad...

Martial arts fans will enjoy the action. Action film enthusiasts will also enjoy the film. Those looking for a story or cohesive plot will have to settle for a basic premise with a million holes in it.

Statham's character, Frank Martin, is an ex-military type who for reasons that aren't that important, no longer is a soldier but still clings to the basic concepts of duty, honor, integrity. You can be as bad as you want, as long as you stick to your personal code of ethics.

In this case, Martin makes a comfortable living delivering "packages" for unsavory types who pay handsomely for the service. One of the most endearing characters is the local detective who knows what Martin is up to but just can't catch him at it.

Martin likes to drive fast and he's good at it. Which is helpful when in the opening sequence the "package" he has been contracted to deliver are fleeing bank robbers.

Martin lives a simple life. He has no real friends. He is reclusive. He lives by a few simple rules. One of those rules is not to open any of the "packages" he has been consigned to deliver.

Of course he breaks the very rules that have kept him free of the law enforcement officials who are chasing him, and gets in almost over his head. That's where the film becomes almost one long, never-ending fight scene. But fight fans won't be bored. It's one heck of a fight!

The first third to half of the movie is the best, before things deteriorate into fight after fight. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of humor that is intentionally written into the script. There is quite a bit of unintentional humor as well, but over all, the film is fun and at several points in the film, you may find yourself laughing out loud.

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