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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Heist > Martial Arts Cycle > The Transporter (2002/Blu-ray)

The Transporter (2002/Blu-ray)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: C     Film: C



Part of the amazing thing about producer Luc Besson is that he has more than any other producer ruined the action genre in ways it is just now recovering from.  Even when he does not direct, as is the case with Cory Yuen’s The Transporter (2002), we still get the same shallow, lame, pseudo-hip style that is more than played out since he hit it big with the grossly overrated The Professional (itself now proven to be inferior to the longer, better Leon cut that eliminated all the depth and intelligence he likely thought would “slow” the film down) and Le Femme Nikita (which became a terrible TV series) became Action films for those who hated them and possibly a certain American Action aesthetic for ignorant people who don’t know better.


In yet another bad screenplay by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, who wrote Kiss Of The Dragon (2001, reviewed elsewhere on this site in Blu-ray) together, they decide to make the title character someone who handles illegal, powerful and dangerous arms.  He is Frank Martin (Jason Statham) and British, furthering the odd agenda of these films to trash Hollywood by being as bad as and worse than anything they produce.  Statham also adds the chic of his connection to British Gangster genre films, all of which are better than this mess.  To make things worse, it is almost a remake of Kiss Of The Dragon as he suddenly becomes a target who has to run for his life.  Yawn!


Because of Statham’s somewhat likable screen presence, the film was a hit, especially overseas, even spawning an unfortunate sequel no one really talks about.  Quickly though, the fancy swinging camera to telegraphing the gunshots and other bad clichés that owe more to bad TV commercials and Music Videos than anything cinematic make this film look old already.  Of course, Statham does his own stunts and knows martial arts, but that cannot overcome this mess.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 MPEG-2 @ 18 MBPS digital High Definition image does look better than the DVD, which was good, but not great since it is once again manipulated Super 35mm shooting that has only a few memorable shots.  The original theatrical Dolby EX/DTS ES sound is once again represented by DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio sound, though the mix once again shows its limits.  In both cases, this is the best way to play the film back outside of a film print, but the sound is as good here as anywhere.  Too bad it only shines in the action scenes.


Extras only include an HD version of the original theatrical trailer and feature length audio commentary by Statham and Producer Steven Chasman.  Hope Statham finds a better franchise, because this one is finished.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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