Transporter 2 (2005)

Transporter 2 (2005)
  • Time: 87 min
  • Genre: Action | Crime | Thriller
  • Director: Louis Leterrier
  • Cast: Jason Statham, Alessandro Gassman, Amber Valletta, Kate Nauta, Jason Flemyng


Frank Martin is the best in the business. The ex-Special Forces operative hires himself out as a mercenary “transporter” who moves goods–human or otherwise. Very simple, he delivers, no questions asked. Frank has relocated from the French Mediterranean to Miami, Florida, where as a favor to a friend, Frank is driving for the wealthy Billings family. There’s very little that can surprise The Transporter, but young Jack Billings has done just that; Frank has unexpectedly bonded with Jack, age 6, who he drives to and from school. But when Jack is kidnapped, Frank must use his battle-tested combat skills to retrieve the boy and thwart the kidnappers’ master plan to release a virus that will kill anyone with whom it comes in contact.

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  • For various sequels to original films, they all usually have the same trend in common. That trend is the law of diminishing returns. There are also groups of very few series that have follow-up films that surpass its first entry. Then there are the later installments that work differently than their predecessor, but just match their parent. With this sometimes it works, while other times depending on how good the first was doesn’t help it to begin with. For Jason Statham’s Transporter (2002), it was an entertaining fluffy popcorn action film that had its moments of ingenuity but was for the most part fairly predictable and cliche for a lot of its running time when it came to character development and plot. Another weak aspect was the backstory to what the villain’s motivations were. Thankfully, even for these flaws they did not outweigh the better parts of the film’s execution.

    Surprisingly even with much of the cast and crew being more of a French production with its release, the film gained a sequel. Continuing to write the sequel is Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (creators of the first movie). As an entire movie, it feels like a better film but in fact, it feels roughly the same as the first. Jason Statham returns as Frank Martin, the ex-military guy for drive-hire (aka a Transporter). However instead being given a special assignment, Martin’s in a bit of slump in his career at the moment. Currently, he’s doing daily pickup jobs for a parents’ son Jack Billings (Hunter Clary). The parents, Audrey (Amber Valletta) and Jeff Billings (Matthew Modine) are on bad terms and are trying to mend their differences, but it’s slow moving. One regular day when picking up Jack, Martin’s car is hijacked by a trained killer named Lola (Kate Nauta) who works for a hired mercenary named Gianni Chellini (Alessandro Gassman).

    Turns out that Chellini is testing a viral solution that if injected becomes highly contagious just by breathing it in and the only cure is with him alone. For writing, the screenplay suffers almost the same flaws from that of The Transporter (2002). For one, the whole viral bacterial disease subplot has been used time and time again. What evil antagonist hasn’t tried this method yet? The film’s most noticeable flaws however lie in its connections to the first film and various assumptions that are made for the audience. Connection wise, other than François Berléand gladly returning as Inspector Tarconi from the first film, there is no other mention to what happened after the events of the original film. The storyline ended properly but it seemed as if Frank Martin acquired a new girlfriend. If not, there should’ve been at least a mention for the audience. Assumption wise, the screenplay makes various short cuts so that once a conflict is over, everything is hunky dory. When in fact, other than focusing on the main characters, nothing else is concluded when it comes to several other characters. That’s rather important.

    Again though, these mistakes are happily made up for with everything else. One thing that is better in this particular screenplay than the prior one is that it does not include the typical “female falls for protagonist” subplot. Another is the direction headed by Louis Leterrier (Co-Director of the original), which instead of having Martin doing his job, he’s forced into doing one he doesn’t feel is right. That’s much different than breaking your own rules like of the first film. It’s also not as contradictory either. For action, the sequences that take place are more elaborately stylized and it works well at being fun to watch. The Transporter (2002) had a great scene involving being slicked up in oil and being hard to catch. There’s a small reference to that here but there’s also a scene that involves using a fire hose. Can you imagine the strength and speed needed to use it the way Statham would? That takes skill. All actors do nicely in their role as well. Nobody felt out of place or miscast. Even veteran actor Keith David has a small role.

    The cinematography shot by Mitchell Amundsen was well handled. Although he has more credits for being a second unit and camera operator, Amundsen demonstrates he is capable of being the head director of photography. There are plenty of shots that capture all angles of the setting. Whether it is with scenes that involve movement or stationary work, the camera is steady and allows its audience to clearly see what is being portrayed on screen. Composing the music for this entry was Alexandre Azaria and although it is not as jazzy or slick sounding as Stanley Clarke’s rendition, Azaria created a reoccurring main theme for Martin. Plus Azaria also includes a mix of organic orchestra, synths and deep piano keys. Those particular cues are not always memorable but they are different on a listening experience level.

    Its plot still suffers from cliched writing but in other areas. Also the connections between this and the original are untouched. Other than that the choreographed action scenes, steady camerawork, music, direction and acting is all acceptable. No better and no worse than the first.

    Points Earned –> 6:10

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