From here on out, I am going to give my review of one action movie each week (or so) and tell you exactly why it is a great action film. This week, it is the film that branded Jason Statham as the action star of our generation, THE TRANSPORTER.
Writer/Director/Produce Luc Besson is responsible for such films as The Professional, La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element, Unleashed, District B13, and Taken. This guy has some pretty ridiculous credentials when it comes to foreign-born action films. While I love all of these movies, my favorite has to be ‘The Transporter’ series. My love for these films is largely due to two things: amazingly shot/choreographed fight scenes and Jason Statham.
Prior to these films, Jason Statham was an Olympic Diver who competed in the 1992 Olympics. After this, he became a model then a black marketer…which soon led him to his first film “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels”, leading to a good relationship with filmmaker Guy Ritchie as well. After his debut, he starred in “Snatch” and finally became “The Transporter”. With no real credentials or notice from American audiences, he immediately became an action star with this film. He had the charisma, amiability, and certainly the body mass to be an action hero.
That last comment reminds me of a classic scene in the show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” where the two characters argue about the body mass of actors in films:
Mac: Well, the big deal, Dennis, is that I wasn’t even consulted on the decision, okay? And this is a big deal to me, as well. It’s also my night. Plus, Transporter 2? We haven’t seen Transporter 1 which means we’ll be completely lost… Plus, Jason Statham’s physique is nothing like the line-up in Predator.
Anyway, sorry for the distraction. While many criticize the Transporter series as being incoherent, over-the-top, and ridiculous…I have to disagree somewhat. I realize that critics want all action movies to be like the John Woo classics or a Bourne film, but I don’t believe you need an overly intelligent script or ground-breaking shootouts in order to make a good action flick. To satisfy me in this category, you just need a reasonable amount of action and a worthy actor to follow as the hero of the film. These reasons are more than taken care of within this series.
To focus more on The Transporter film by itself, I have to say that before this film, I had never seen a fight scene that was so fluid, intense, and impressive all at the same time. The fight scenes are so well choreographed and so expertly shot, it’s impossible not to enjoy. “The Transporter” is easily the best in the series (which actually goes in order from best to weakest) due to its fantastic opening scene, incredible amount of action sequences, and just a perfect way to introduce a character like Frank Martin and an actor like Jason Statham. If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it if you want to kill a couple of hours enjoying a well-done action flick.