Imagine a world where the impossible is possible. Now take that world and blow it up, set it on fire, dowse it in water, add coconuts, oil and a splash of chemical warfare. Put it all in one hell of a pimped out Audi A8, put Jason Statham at the wheel and allow Louis Letterier to guide you on a rollercoaster ride around Miami that is just ludicrous enough to be a whole hell of a lot of fun.
Transporter 2 is the sequel to the equally fun Transporter from 2002. This time professional driver Frank Martin (Statham) has relocated from the French Mediterranean to Miami, Florida, where he has taken a little bit of time off from his “normal” driving routine to help out a friend and drive 6-year-old Jack Billings to and from school. Over the course of a month Frank finds himself bonding with the little tike, which makes his ultimate kidnapping that much more regrettable, especially since he just promised the boy he would never allow him to be hurt, and as we all know Frank’s rules and his promises are not made to be broken.
It turns out there is a plot to kill everyone, yeah, everyone, through the use of biological warfare and the kidnapping is simply a means to an end as young Jack’s DEA father (Matthew Modine) is about to give a high profile speech, which will quickly put the airborne disease to work.
Heading up the baddies is evil-man-for-hire, Gianni played by Alessandro Gassman and his long-legged assassin Lola played by newcomer and supermodel Kate Nauta. As far as these two are concerned, you can tell they are a bit out of their element as their bad guy impersonations are so over the top, but then again so is this entire movie, which means it ends up working. Nauta struts around each and every scene with just about nothing on, and that includes when she is wielding some heavy firepower and laying waste to a doctor’s office, or a police car, or pretty much whatever the hell gets in her way. After all, what good is underwear if you can’t wear it while spraying gunfire from your silenced Uzis all over the place? You tell me…
What really matters here, however, is the man at the center of all the action. Here stands Jason Statham, one of the coolest cats in movies today, and easily one of the most underrated. Since his role in Snatch, yes Snatch and not Lock, Stock, I have not wanted to miss a single frame of this kick ass Brit in action. Statham’s swagger and explosiveness makes for fun movie watching. All that coupled with his training in martial arts and Transporter 2‘s martial arts choreographer, Corey Yuen, just amps up the level of this flick several decibels.
I should stop here and head back to my first sentence for just a minute and make sure it actually sank in as I have been praising the action this film employs. Virtually every single stunt in Transporter 2 is IMPOSSIBLE! As much as I would like to believe that Jason Statham could casually avoid bullets I don’t think he actually can, but it is cool, and he is the reason it works, along with a script and characters designed by the legendary Luc Besson.
While Besson did not script this flick on his own his name is stamped on the by-line and that is good enough for me, and when Statham slides into that suit and slips on his leather driving gloves it is on for 90 minutes and the action doesn’t let up.
On top of all that I also think Louis Letterier, who helmed the first flick as well as the Jet Li starrer Unleashed earlier this year, has grown by leaps and bounds as a director compared to the first Transporter. While this is simply a mindless action piece the movie had much more flow, very good pacing and some really cool shots throughout.
It is hard for me to give a summer popcorn flick such a good review, but amidst the stack of shit I have been forced to watch this year it is nice to see that someone can take the idea of fun movie-making and remove the serious and keep the fun. Transporter 2 will have you laughing at some of the outlandish antics, but at the same time you will be loving every minute of it.