An ex-soldier makes a living transporting unknown items for
wealthy individuals, but complications arise with his latest job.
The Transporter (2002)
Directed by Louis Leterrier and Cory Yuen
Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Starring Jason Statham, Qi Shu, Matt Schulze,
François Berléand, Ric Young
The Transporter has inexplicably become a somewhat profitable film franchise since the release of this 2002 action thriller. Sure, it makes the most of Jason Statham, but it falters big time in regards to the plot. This first ride may have brought Statham into the world of action, but that's really all it's got going for it. The story is barely held together by some vague mention of human trafficking, and the every character apart from Statham's Frank Martin is either boring or cliched as hell.
Frank Martin is an ex-soldier who makes a living as an illegal goods transporter. For a fee, he will transport any cargo so long as you stick to the deal. It's an interesting concept that starts out pretty exciting, with a badass car chase that causes the film to go too big too fast. Then, when his latest job is revealed to be transporting a kidnapped woman, all hell breaks loose when Frank gets involved in some kinda transcontinental conspiracy. From there, things go off the rails and the story falls apart.
Statham gives it his all and is always a fun screen presence regardless of film quality, but he wasn't enough to bring this film into the light. It feels like a first draft that never got a rewrite, but it's easy to see why it would be appealing. It's got everything you'd want in an action movie. Gunfights, car chases, invincible hero, and even a James Bond-esque love interest. It just never uses all these pieces in a coherent enough way to craft a quality action film. If you want my opinion, stick to Crank.