$2.50 Reviews: Transporter 2 (2005)

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$2.50 Reviews:

Transporter 2


Transporter 2 takes the basic premise of "Jason Statham saving a small group of people from something" and runs with it for all it's worth. This time around, things are a lot tighter, and a plot may have actually found a way to get itself involved in the action. In almost every conceivable way, Transporter 2 is better than its predecessor, save for including more distracting CGI.

Look in the camera, dear.
Look in the camera, dear.

The plot begins some time after the first film ended. Little mention is made of that film, except for some references that would otherwise go unnoticed. We don't find out what happened to Lai, although I'll be honest in saying that I didn't really care. Frank Martin (Jason Statham) has moved to Florida and is working as a chauffeur for a rich family consisting of Jeff (Matthew Modine), Audrey (Amber Valletta) and their son, Jack (Hunter Clary).

The plot, (and yes, this time, there is a plot), involves Jack getting kidnapped, and Frank trying to get him back. A deadly virus gets involved at one point, and -- well, actually it would almost be a shame to say more than that. Suffice to say that the lives of a number of people get put in danger, and that this time, stunts and action scenes are not the only reason we have a story at all. We actually are given some semblance of thrills simply from the plot, which helps to compliment the action scenes, of which there are still many.

The set-pieces are bigger and more inventive, which is a good thing. Some of them are slight retreads of the first film, like when a slippery substance is used in order to avoid getting grabbed, or when something is able to outrun another that should be much faster, but it's all done better and with more flare. The scenes that are breaking new ground are amazing, with the highlight happening late in the film, but involving one of the most creative uses of a fire hose that I've ever seen. There's also a scene where a car manages to -- no, I shouldn't say any more; this is something that you should see for yourself.

Shoot stuff!
Shoot stuff!

For a film with the word "transporter" in its title, that profession doesn't actually come into play at all in this one. Oh, Frank is a great driver with a knack for martial arts, but he's little different from most action heroes. His persona of a serious man who only cares about the job is never recaptured here, but this film comes closer to that. Frank has one job, and is entirely devoted to fulfilling it, but may only be that way because of one of his new rules: Never break a promise.

Because the action scenes are so much better, and because there's a plot connecting them, we aren't bored when watching Transporter 2. That was one of the problems that the first film had: There wasn't anything apart from the action scenes holding your interest. This time, the plot does this, but there is also at least one memorable character as well as some sharp and humorous dialogue. While the first Transporter was devoid of supplementary material, this one is jam-packed, and results in a much better experience.

This memorable character comes in the form of Lola, played by Kate Nauta. We initially meet her masquerading as a secretary, she ends up being an assassin similar in skill to Frank, but far more intriguing, mostly based on her look. Again, this is something you'll just have to see. If you come away with anything that isn't related to a fire hose from this film, it will be this character.

He is so happy!
He is so happy!

The worst part about the first Transporter was the soundtrack, which was annoying and didn't fit the action happening on-screen all that well. That's also rectified this time around, with rock music replacing the rap and techno of the first film. Thankfully, most of the songs this time didn't have lyrics, or at least, I didn't notice if they did, which means that it's easier to concentrate on the action. And since they fit this action, they enhanced it instead of making it get down on its knees and beg for the mute button. Or maybe that was just me.

There did seem to be some pointless parts to Transporter 2, like the French police officer (François Berléand) from the first film showing up for a vacation. He gets a couple of funny moments, like when the police show up at Frank's house and ask the Frenchman who he is, as he replies with "just the cook," as he pays homage to the first film. But he plays a very minor role that, while it aids Frank, could have been reworked to remove the character. Once again, I suspect padding had to be done to increase the film's runtime, which is never a good thing, although there still aren't dull parts, only pointless ones.

Transporter 2 fixes almost all of the problems that its predecessor had, and ends up being quite the enjoyable little film. It has a plot, which is usually a plus, while also having inventive action scenes and at least one memorable character. It has elements to complement the almost relentless action scenes, and since those are improved too, you'll have a lot of fun with this one. There are moments that feel pointless, some mediocre CGI, and a bit too much stolen from the first film in terms of scenario, but all in all, I enjoyed this Transporter quite a bit.


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This one is probably my favorite of the three. Though Iw ill say I enjoyed Berleand's character in the movie.

You seem to have had some trouble keeping names straight, but other than that there aren't any glaring issues.

This is definitely my favorite one of the three. Inventive fights plus something resembling a plot that isn't acted terribly, and Lola to boot? It's a fun time.

I see that we agree that the second one is superior. I wonder if you hated the third one like I did.


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