Oct. 24, 2002 While director Cory Yuen continues to provide slick action scenes and artfully choreographed fight sequences in his latest film, "The Transporter," critics fault the melodrama of the film's human interest lines.
Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is a retired Special Forces operator who begins working as a transporter in the South of France, carrying packages that, according to his third sacred rule, he never opens. Martin is compelled to break this frequently mentioned rule, as well as the other two that demand never changing the terms of the deal and never using names, when he notices one of his packages is moving. Inside is a beautiful woman named Lai (Shu Qi), who is trying to stop a human smuggling ring led by her father.
Lai makes her way into Frank's frosty heart, giving her nemeses vague reasons to blow up his seaside villa. This leads to Frank's revenge and a subplot about Asian slave trading. This leads to explosions, car chases and spectacular fight sequences.
David Hunter of the Hollywood Reporter writes: "Almost arbitrary in its details and soullessly indulging in romance when Lai offers to make up for all the trouble she's caused him with a spontaneous seduction, 'Transporter' comes down to Frank's trying to save the girl and stop the bad guys by pulling off an impossible skydiving stunt as well as lots of two-fisted, whirly footed fights that Yuen presents with no special flair."
Other critics praise the stylized action sequences and Statham's performance, but fault "The Transporter" for its silliness.
Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle writes: "That the movie becomes silly isn't necessarily a problem, but it also becomes tiresome, degenerating into a series of martial arts interludes That suddenly everyone in the movie becomes a martial artist makes no sense."
The 1 hour 32 minute film is rated PG-13 for violent sequences and some sexuality.
"The Transporter" is now playing at Sunny Isle Theaters.
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