The original "Transporter" was a fun but utterly mindless action film that thrived on intense fighting and car chases but suffered from some really cheesy and over-the-top moments. Nothing else can be expected from the sequel, which is also a fun and entertaining film that is utterly mindless and suffers from some very inane moments.
Jason Statham returns as Frank Martin, the cool driver who tends to see more action than most. An ex-Marine or something, he somehow has the capability to single-handedly take down hordes of men all by himself. When a child he is driving around is kidnapped apparently for ransom but actually to be injected with a deadly virus that, a day later, will kill everyone he comes in contact with, Frank takes it upon himself to get the kid back and win the heart of his mother, played by the lovely Amber Valletta. The plot doesn't make much sense as the kidnappers are actually looking to infect the kid's father, which begs the question as why not just inject him while on an elevator or something, or even kidnap him directly. Anyway, plot is second in the constant barrage of punching, shooting and car-chasing, and for the most part, that focus works.
Statham is perfect in the role he created; he's cool, he's lethal and can kick some ass, and you like him for it. He may not be James Bond, but he's the kind of hero one would expect in a movie for the 21st century.
The action is fun and never lets up for an hour and a half. The movie rarely stops to talk or ask questions, and that's really okay as director Louis Leterrier knows how to do his action scenes. What he doesn't know how to do is keep things real, and there are several segments that are just so unbelievably unrealistic that they really bring the film down at times. The most notable scene is that where Frank is driving away from the villains with a bomb attached to the undercarriage of his beloved car. Somehow he knows this and knows exactly where it is on the bottom of the car, and knows at exactly what speed and angle to go over a jump to flip his car upside down in mid-air, strike a low-hanging construction crane just right so that it snags the bomb, and then flip back upright to land correctly on the road and keep driving. Come on. Why? Why, dammit! There are other moments as well that I shunned from my memory because they destroyed brain cells.
Aside from a few really dumb moments that should have been left on the cutting room floor, "The Transporter 2" is an exciting and entertaining action movie. We rarely get to see this kind of action movie any more, and it is a nice change of pace from the more intellectual action-dramas that are the "in" thing right now.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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