Movie posterThe role of the Transporter is the one that made me pay more attention to Jason Statham as a leading action / martial arts actor.

An ex Speical Forces Officer, Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is now retired, and on the surface lives off his military pension in France.  But in reality, he is a “Transporter” – who will transport anything to any destination – no questions asked, in a classy high end service (that pays rather well).

Our introduction to his character is when Frank must transport 3 men rom the scene of a robbery.  When the gang shows up with four members, Frank reminds them that they had a deal – to transport 3 men, and that the terms of the deal cannot be broken.  After much back and forth they kill the fourth member of the gang and make their escape.

We’re then shown a tremendously Frank’s amazing driving skills, aswell as his classy and precise nature.

But most of all we’re taught his four rules:

1 – No new deals, when it’s a deal, it’s a deal
2 – No names
3 – Don’t open the package
4 – Never make a promise you can’t keep

When he accepts his next job he is given the package by some dangerous looking characters.  After hearing some thumping in the boot, Frank’s conscience forces him to check the boot, and open the package…

…Frank Breaks One of His On Rules

From there he discovers a young woman in the boot.  This opening of the package is discovered by the recipient when he finally delivers and they attempt to kill him by asking him to ‘transport’ a timed bomb, which goes off while he’s eating a nearby stop.

The Transporter

All hell breaks lose from there as Frank returns to house, kicks their asses  and everything escalates.

This whole breaking of the rules is essentially the one behavioral mistake made by Frank in the movie, and leads to the entire conflict.  But of course ends up fighting for a good cause – to free 400 Asian immigrants being transported in a container.

The Perfect Role for Jason Statham

Jason Statham was never a fan of choppy action films with different stunt men, he’s been quoted as saying:

“You see a lot of action films, and it’s almost (like) you can’t tell who’s doing what. It’s chopped up so much, you just see a fist, a leg – it’s all driven by the sound, boom, pow, boom. You wouldn’t know what was happening otherwise. The people who inspired me growing up, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, that’s the real deal. You see them, the camera’s way back, there aren’t a lot of cuts – you feel like you’re really in there. Today, there’s so much technology and green-screen and CGI, you can turn your grandma into an action star. But people are getting wise to that, I think. There’s no substitute for the real thing.”

Frank martin (Jason Statham)

With his extensive kickboxing experience, wing chun and mixed martial arts training the action scenes were a given for Statham in this movie.  His visual style within his fights is very reminiscent of some of the these actors, along with the rhythm and overall feel.  This movie was a perfect showcase of what the world has come to expect from one of the top action stars of today as he did most of his own stunts.

Jason even had a scene in the original theatrical trailer where he deflected a missile with a tea tray in his kitchen – thank god he spoke up and had the scene removed.  He understands that audiences aren’t stupid and help keep the film well grounded.  If only number 2 and 3 were as grounded!

The Martial Arts & Action

While the driving in this movie is fantastic, as martial arts fan I’d have to say that the fights are the real star in this flick.

As mentioned above, Jason has an excellent visual style with his fights.  The fight scenes are smooth and Jason’s stunts are impressive as some of the best in the business.

It’s very much a ‘hero effortlessly defeats bad guys’ action movie, with little challenge (in hand to hand combat) being presented to Jason’s character Frank.  It’s the perfect introduction to the abilities of the character of Frank and the Jason himself being his future movies.

The scene which really caught my eye was the bus depot fight.  It’s the longest and most impressive of the film with Jason tying guys up with his shirt, fighting very efficiently in tight spaces and topping it off with the fight in the oil.

If you haven’t seen it Frank basically pours oil across the concrete, covering himself in oil also.  As each of his attackers try to grab him they lose grip (due to the oil!), and have trouble standing up.  Frank then kicks the pedals off a nearby bike, and straps them to his boots, where he effortlessly  kicks the crap out of his surrounding opponents while they struggle for balance in a puddle of slippery oil.  It’s really a visually impressive scene with a pretty cool concept that adds a little uniqueness to the fight.

The Verdict?

Do it! It’s Jason Statham in one of his very best roles!  The action is superb and the story is pretty simple.  Best of all, the whole movie is not overdone, with a very down to earth plot and action scenes.  If you haven’t you must see this movie!

On Blu Ray –

Region A (US & Canada)
The Transporter on Blu-ray

Region B (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, etc)
The Transporter on Blu-ray

On DVD –

Region 1 (US & Canada)
The Transporter on DVD

Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
The Transporter on DVD

Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
The Transporter on DVD 

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