|The Transporter (2002)
Starring: Jason Statham, Shu Qi, Matt Schulze
Director: Cory Yuen
It seems like Vin Diesel has a new competitor in the struggle to become Hollywood's hottest action star: Jason Statham, the sarcastic but likeable antihero of Guy Ritchie's "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch." Statham has gained an eager fan base since Ritchie's cheeky crime capers were imported from across the pond, and his energetic performance in the sleeper action hit "The Transporter" is just what he needed to edge him into the spotlight. With jaw-dropping action choreography and a smarter-than-usual plot thanks to scribe Luc Besson ("The Professional"), "The Transporter" is one of the best action films to hit theaters in a long time.
Statham plays Frank Martin, a retired Army hero who earns a living as a mercenary transporting packages for wealthy clients, no questions asked. He lives by a set of rules in his line of work, rules that make him the best in the business: The deal never changes, no names and, most of all, never open the package. On a routine drop off, Frank makes his first mistake when he opens the package to find Lai (Shu Qi), an ill-mannered Chinese girl with a story to tell. Frank, however, has no intention of listening until she mentions Wall Street (Matt Schulze), an employer-turned-enemy after discovering that the package has been opened. As a result, Frank's beloved BMW is blown to pieces and his designer suit ruined. This doesn't make Frank very happy, and so the beat down begins.
"The Transporter" never falls short of adrenaline-pumping action, showing off some stuff you've never seen before, as well as some things you'll want to watch over and over again. Director Corey Yuen (best known for his work in Hong Kong cinema) doesn't hesitate to push the envelope, and he utilizes Statham's flagrant acting style to the fullest with a number of bone-crushing fight scenes and sardonic jesting. If you're looking for a film like "xXx," but with much more to offer, "The Transporter" definitely delivers. It's got a marketable name in Statham, more Asian import talent with Shu Qi, and some fresh action that'll blow your mind. How much longer till the sequel?
The Special Delivery Edition for "The Transporter" isn't very different from the original DVD release, except that it features a much cooler looking cover and one more special feature. Included on the single-disc release is the same audio commentary with Jason Statham and producer Steven Chasman, a making-of featurette, and 15 minutes of unrated fight sequences with optional commentary by director Cory Yuen and Statham. The only new material that can be found on this release is the addition of a behind-the-scenes documentary and a sneak preview for "The Transporter 2." If Fox really wanted to make this release more unique for fans of the film, then they should have incorporated the unrated fight material into the movie to create an extended cut. Instead, Fox has just released another re-issue in ploy to make more money. Oh, and to plug the upcoming sequel.