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'Transport' out of the theater

By Nate Buchik
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 8, 2005
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If you like your action films with laughable fighting props, send-off lines like "think again" and plot holes so glaring you wonder if there were pages lost from the script, then I have a movie for you.

Jason Statham stars as Frank Martin in this sequel about a professional driver who is hired to transport items that are bound to come with trouble. Of course, he never transports anything in the film. Frank is temporarily working as a chauffer for the U.S. drug czar (Matthew Modine), picking his young son Jack (Hunter Clary) up from school and taking him to the doctor.

Although he's only been driving for the family for a month, Frank has already made the kid love him (with riddles) and the wife (Amber Valleta) fall head over heels with his mild-mannered strong man act. (This sets up an unintentionally funny scene in which the wife comes over to try to woo Frank, and he sends her off to drive home drunk).

Soon, trouble finds Frank. When he takes Jack to the doctor, the bad guys are waiting. Posing as doctors, a trio of goons tries to inject Jack with something. Frank saves Jack and almost gets him back home, but main goon Lola - newcomer Kate Nauta in the always-practical bra-and-panties fighting outfit - facilitates a kidnapping.

They take the boy to main bad guy Gianni (Alessandro Gassman), who demands $5 million for his safe return.

Unfortunately, it's a setup and the bad guys still inject Jack - turning him into some kind of chemical weapon meant to kill loads of important people who will be around his father.


The Transporter 2
88 minutes
20th Century Fox
2 out of 10

Frank works to find out what they injected Jack with and stop Gianni, while also having to evade the police - who think he was responsible for Jack's kidnapping.

Eventually, we get some fire-hose fighting, some one-on-20 defying the odds ass-kicking and even a mind-numbing sequence on a pilotless plane.

The special effects are used sparingly, as this is more of a Jackie Chan-style action flick, but they stick out like a sore, diseased thumb during a couple scenes. In one, Frank defies all odds by hitting a ramp, turning the car over in midair and knocking off a bomb on the bottom of his car by nicking a crane hand. He lands safely, and the bomb explodes behind him. This is only topped by the aforementioned plane-fight scene, in which we watch the plane's trajectory change as if it were of the paper variety.

Director Louis Leterrier ("Unleashed") choreographed some pretty fun fight scenes, but struggles to fill the rest of the film. The writers, Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, apparently have never had a conversation in their lives.

I could go on ... and I guess I will.

The plot holes are more glaring than in any film I've seen in the last five years. The actors look like they're reading their lines for the first time off a teleprompter. The attempt at heart-warming moments made someone sitting next to me literally vomit.

Did I mention this character Tarconi? He was an inspector in the first one, and he comes to visit Frank in this one. However, he never sees Frank and seems to solely exist to provide him with information. And for some reason, he only flew in from France for one day.

The movie starts poorly and ends abruptly. The middle is equally terrible.

But because it was the No. 1 movie this weekend at the box office, it will always be remembered for being far and away better than "The Transporter 3."

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