Classic Intel: The Transporter - TV Review

'give Leterrier something action-packed, male-orientated and one-dimensional and he'll give you a return on your investment, give him something with a more developed plot and he'll give you a headache'

The Transporter is the film every average action-flick dreams it was. Louis Leterrier's French-inflected actioner is highly influenced by the work of writer/producer Luc Besson and, full of the later's trademark kinetic energy and innovative action scenes, it bounces off the walls, merrily kicking people in the head until an over-wrought and over-the-top finale brings it crashing to a halt.

The success of this film really shows why Leterrier shouldn't have been given films such as Clash Of The Titans or The Incredible Hulk: give him something action-packed, male-orientated and one-dimensional and he'll give you a return on your investment. Give him something with a more developed plot requiring an injection of directorial nous and he'll give you a headache. Leterrier and The Transporter work because the initially simple plot requires limited input from anyone, leaving the focus firmly on choreographing fight scenes and ensuring things blow up with a spectacular amount of 'bang'.

With Jason Statham in the lead as Frank Martin, a man with a fast car who takes people from A to B and doesn't stop to ask questions, Leterrier creates an action great - something which has come to full fruition recently with his turn opposite Stallone and others in The Expendables. The Stath's acting chops might not be up to much here (especially in the calmer scenes, when Leterrier too struggles) but his slightly-funny Frank is easy to like and root for and his relationship with Qi Shu's Lai feels warm, if not entirely genuine.

Much needed top-class support comes from Frenchman François Berléand, whose quick-witted, good-intentioned police inspector immediately establishes a good working dynamic with Statham's persona. As the plot attempts to pile on layers things get a little silly and the choice to stage the final conflict on a moving vehicle looked clichéd even in 2002 but it's not enough to spoil one of the better straight-faced action films of the noughties and Letterier can still count this as his best film.

Look further...

'Flawed but exciting actioner with particularly outstanding car chase and fight sequences' - Movie Gazette

No comments:

Post a Comment