Transporter 2
I almost wore the same thing! How embarrassing would that have been?

Theatrical Release Date: 09/02/2005
Director: Louis Leterrier
Cast: Jason Statham, Amber Valletta, Alessandro Gassman, Kate Nauta, François Berléand

Speeding its way through audiences’ wallets and minds this past weekend, “Transporter 2” brings back Frank Martin, the world’s most dangerous driver for hire, played by Jason Statham. This time around, he has to recover the 8 year-old he had been chauffeuring around who was kidnapped to further a nefarious scheme invovling an airborne virus and drug cartels. Don’t reread the last sentence, just keep moving forward, it’s better for your sanity.

The first film in the series, appropriately titled ‘The Transporter”, was a surprisingly good effort combining a marginal story with great stunts and action – just a fun, popcorn flick. Both films were co-written by Luc Besson who knows how to write fast paced and physics-defying action. However, the director of the first film, Corey Yuen, was relegated to second unit director and we were instead delivered the meager talents of Louis Leterrier, who last brought audiences the unfulfilling “Unleashed”. I guess Yuen lost a bet or slept with Besson’s wife without permission or something.

And instead of making a film with the emotional gravity of “Leon”, we get something closer to one of Besson’s other many collaborations with Jean Reno, “Wasabi”. You didn’t see “Wasabi”? Let me sum it up, Reno plays a French cop who has to help his Japanese daughter out of trouble and, of course thanks to Besson, Reno’s character is endowed with an ability to fight like an anime character. Oh, and if it weren’t for Reno’s own abilities to light up the screen with his charisma, this film would have been devoid of any real sense of heart or purpose. It has a quirky ability to be fun, but I can separate the thinking part of my brain from the sensational portion. Practice at home, it can come in handy.

Why am I going on and on about Besson’s other films? Well, maybe it’s because there’s not much to say about this one. Statham is still the most lethal driver since Ted Kennedy and is the glue that keeps the film from unraveling inside the projector. The action is frenetic and fun, with perhaps the best scene involving a fire hose since the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. But that’s about it.

The other actors aren’t worth mentioning and their collective emotional range lies somewhere between glorified thug and whore. The little boy probably does a better job than anyone but Statham and François Berléand, who reprises his role as a French inspector. Of special mention, this film does have Keith David, but Besson didn’t have the decency to continue devolving the storyline by involving him in more than a few scenes. Oh, and Matthew Modine is in the film too, but I still can’t shake “Cutthroat Island” from my gullet. So really, casting him should have told me the story would be worse than my 7th grade paper on what I did the previous summer. Crap, I mentioned some of the other actors.

“Transporter 2” did break the Labor Day box office weekend record this year for highest gross over the 3 day period, so we can probably bet on seeing a third movie in the series. It’s too bad number two isn’t very good and should probably be flushed.

For a good time involving the imaginative talents of Luc Besson, go see “Leon”. If you just need a few interesting fight scenes and can shut off the remaining portions of your brain, go ahead and check out “Transporter 2”. Depending on your sensibilities, I guess you might enjoy this film. I had fun, but I own all six “Leprechaun” movies.

“T2:Sans Schwarzenegger” gets a 1 out of 5 from me, and I recommend using the skunked case of Olympia liberally to get from each fight to the next. All the parts in-between had me laughing like a Hyena finding his girlfriend in bed with his Dad. Go ahead and let that though dwell before deciding to spend money on this one.