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The Transporter (2002) – DVD Review

The Transporter DVD cover art


Written by: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Directed by: Louis Leterrier and Corey Yuen
Starring: Jason Statham, Qi Shu, Matt Schulze, François Berléand, Ric Young


  • Extra fifteen minutes of an unrated extended fight sequence with optional commentary by actor Statham, producer Steven Chasman and director Yuen
  • Running audio commentary by Statham and Chasman
  • “Making-of” Featurette

Released by: Fox
Region: 1
Rating: PG-13
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Rent it, but certainly not for the acting

Frank Martin (Statham) has retired from the military, but in addition to his pension, he has a little income on the side. He’s a driver. For the right price, he will take passengers or cargo to any destination. However, with one of his clients, he gets a little more than he bargained for. It turns out that his cargo is actually a girl (Shu) in a big black duffel bag. He breaks one of his own rules and opens the package and she steps into his life…but it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

[ad#longpost]If you go into this movie for an intense character study, you have been misinformed. There is only one reason to watch this movie: action sequences. There really is nothing more to it. Thankfully, they do them well, making the movie a notch above watchable. However, a string of action bits do not a movie make. Man cannot live on asskicking alone. Statham just doesn’t have the acting chops to carry a movie when he does not have his foot up someone’s ass. And the guy who is supposed to be the bad guy is simply not intimidating at all. So, if you go into this movie to enjoy the fight scenes and tolerate the stuff that gets you to them, you’ll have a good time.

When you consider that the movie is all about action, it’s not really all that surprising that the DVD wraps itself around this idea and doesn’t let go. First of all, the much-hyped fifteen-minute unrated fight sequences are okay. The problem with them is that they are presented in their raw form with all of the timecode and all of that other junk cluttering up the screen. I would rather have had them finish it out and present it that way.

The commentary tracks on this disc are really funny to listen to. When they do actually get around to talking about the action, it’s better, but none of them are great. You have to flip the disc over to the full-screen side of the disc in order to get to the other stuff. That is where you can find the “Making-of” featurette. This exemplifies everything that I have come to hate from these things. All you get is twelve minutes of the cast and crew blowing smoke up each other’s skirts about how wonderful it was to work with the other.

Jason Statham as Frank Martin in The Transporter
Frank Martin is still on hold with his wireless service. Pretty pissed about it, too.

So hey, if you’re looking for a violence fix, you could do a whole lot worse. It’s just a shame there wasn’t much to the film–all you needed was, you know, a script or something and we might have had something worthwhile. Rent if you must.

Jason Statham about to deploy some fisticuffs in The Transporter
Frank Martin about to open up a can of whoopass.

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