The Transporter ( rewatched 03 01 2012) – This was my third or fourth time seeing this film. I think I love it a bit more every time that I do. I do like action and crime movies, but I am picky about them. There should be some plot, some characterisation, but really I watch these kind of movies to escape. My love for this film is strange in that, I don’t care about the plot or most the characters, and only just the action done by Jason Stratham. The best things about this movie are its car and martial arts sequences. It’s the mix of car chases, hand to hand combat with and without guns (with a small dash of parkour/free running) and explosions that is so typical of French action movies. This was written/produced by Luc Besson and shot in France, but with two directors, one from France. More importantly, the other co-director Corey Yuen is from Hong Kong who specializes in martial arts choregraphy. It takes the best of both worlds and has a star who is more than capable of doing the uncut fight scenes. It is the pacing that it good in this film.
I keep watching Jason Stratham movies to see if he will ever re-achieve what he did in this film, and while he has come close (The Bank Job, The Mechanic, but I haven’t seen Crank yet), I think he is as his most Strathamesque in this film. He is not particularly emotive in this, but then again, he isn’t actually a very good dramatic or romantic actor. I dislike the romantic component in this film because the actors don’t seem to have any chemistry with each other and to be honest, it was tacked on as if to say “We need a sex component to any action film”. Shu Qi is pretty, but not particularly sexy. I know she is considered a bit of a sex symbol in Hong Kong. But I’m not watching this film for her, the romance or its plot about human trafficking. If you watch this film purely for its action, it is very good indeed.
I haven’t seen the sequels, and having heard mixed reviews about, not very interested in doing so. Maybe it’ll marr my strange love for this film by ruining my view of Frank Martin. Roger Ebert and I have similar taste in movies, and I know didn’t like this first film, but liked T2 more.