THE  TRANSPORTER   - A   Narada   Film Review

   Frank Martin, the  
   TRANSPORTER, leaps    
   between trucks   
   JASON STATHAM squares off  
   with martial arts baddie
    SHU QU as Lai   
    attempts to   
    convince baddies   
    at the point of a gun.
THE TRANSPORTER  - Corey Yuen-Director   Steve Chasman-Producer .

  Reviewed 11 Nov 2002   Jason Statham (Frank Martin) is no Vin Diesel, but is convincing nevertheless as a self-employed ex-British military type.   Frank is THE TRANSPORTER.   He does special delivery, no questions asked; almost always for the underworld.  So far, so good.   Also, the special effects were generally good, (albeit the Hollywood explosions were a bit billowy and over-cut -slow-mo over & over from every angle in an obvious attempt to soothe mankind's universal pyromaniacal tendencies...).   The 'martial arts' were effective, albeit assisted by good cutting and more special effects.
       With all this going for it, THE TRANSPORTER had the potential to be first-rate.   Instead, it slowly unraveled, leaving just another 'B' actioner.   For starters, the dialogue was entirely uninspired.   The bad guys were all recognizable by their stereotyped appearances, grimaces and dialog.  The plain-vanilla car-chase scenes added nothing.   The plot, smuggling Chinese into country as slave labor, is more than just well worn.  
       The stereotypically poor, honest French police inspector comes often to see Frank to ask him pointed questions about his activities and his source of income.   One's hand freezes in one's popcorn bucket when wondering why this 'Clueseau' never develops a corresponding curiosity about a young, flashy, super-wealthy American 'importer' who brings containers into country without going through customs, or who has resources (C-4) to blow up cars, or who had motive, opportunity and access to a phalanx of shoulder-fired guided missiles that were used in an assassination bid.   No, the shrewd French inspector satisfies himself instead with pestering Frank.   Since the ending was never in doubt, the ONLY people that could actually like THE TRANSPORTER are we heavy-ordnance freaks and Fight Club buffs....
       LEAST Enduring Line or Phrase:  "He was a bastard, but he was my father."

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