The Transporter 2

Dir: Louis Leterrier
Star: Jason Statham, Alessandro Gassman, Amber Valletta, Kate Nauta

One of the cool things about the original film was its credibility; given the hero's mad skills, both behind the wheel and with his fists, everything else kinda made sense. Sadly, not quite the case here: while Frank (Statham) remains as cool as ever, the villains have drifted deep into Evil Overlord territory, coming up with a ludicrously complex plan that achieves exactly the same end as a rocket-propelled grenade or two. That it involves Jason Flemyng as a Russian bio-weapons expert gives you some idea, and the film is full of these "as if!" moments. Such as Francois Berleand, the French cop from the first film, allowed to wander unchecked round a police station and play on their computers (I guess "logins" are unknown in Florida), while the streets of Miami are empty beyond any plausibility.

Which would be fine if there was an acknowledgement of this idiocy, but Frank is totally dead-pan, leaving the viewer uncertain whether to take it seriously or not. Fortunately, the action scenes (choregraphed by the original's director, Corey Yuen) are imaginative and well-executed, though the finale, pitting Frank against the equally adept Gianni (Gassman) feels more like something discarded from the last Bond movie and doesn't live up to expectations. The "many vs. Frank" fights are better, with particularly fine use of a fire-hose, and the psychotic female henchwoman (Nauta) has a nice double-fisted technique when it comes to automatic weapons. But on the whole, this isn't as cool as the first outing, thanks to a script that barely reaches the standard of a Grand Theft Auto side mission.

September 2005

Statham and brat wonder how the
floor in this covered parking garage 
got so wet...
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