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September 8, 2017

Transporter 1 (2002) ---- "When Smuggling Young Woman Hire A Transporter."

Plot Summary
Ex-Special Forces operator Frank Martin (Jason Statham) lives what seems to be a quiet life along the French Mediterranean, hiring himself out as a mercenary transporter who moves goods - human or otherwise - from one place to another. No questions asked. Dangerous complications ensue when he is hired to kidnap the feisty daughter of a lethal Chinese crime lord who's smuggling his fellow countrymen into France. (1) 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Directors Corey Yuen (The Legend 1 and 2) and Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, The Professional) are known for creating some pretty good action films, with Yuen working on a lot of Jet Li films and Besson being one of Europe’s biggest action producers. Their most ambitious project is the 2002 film The Transporter starring Jason Statham (Furious 7).  Jason Statham plays Frank Martin, a mercenary transporter who lives by a code; Rule One - Never change the deal, Rule Two -No names, and Rule Three - Never look in the package. Frank Martine is calm, careful, and cool most of the time but if you mess with his car then he’ll give you a taste of his dark side. He knew how to be cold and compassionate, he only killed when he needed to and it was ruthless. Lai (played by Qi Shu, Assassin) is pretty exceptional and humorous; however, you sometimes need subtitles to understand what she says because of her weak vocabulary. The villain, Wall Street (Matt SchulzeFast Five), is a bit ridiculous and is not very villainy. The action looks smart and lethal with some unbelievable stunts and choreography, while Statham displays some impressive fighting skills.

Though despite the film having some pretty good aspects (action, characters, etc.), there were two issues involving the script which became secondary to the action. First off, there are plenty of holes and unanswered questions, which probably could have been answered with a few small scenes. For instance, there is the unknown extent of Frank's military training and experiences, which could have been revealed little by little throughout this film and the following two sequels in the form of flashbacks or by the villain. Lai’s backstory, how she wound up with Frank, and the quarrelsome relationship with her father (played by Ric Young) could have been used as a short action free dialogue scene. This is why it is no surprise that Frank and Lai decide to join forces against the villain; in fact, it’s more of a cliché. Secondly, Statham is a pretty cool actor with his raspy British voice and cool fighting skills, however, he was never given the room to reach his potential here. Sure, he can get whatever or whomever you want from point A to point B on time with no question asked. But everyone knows the phrase, curiosity killed the cat. Luckily, in this case, the cat doesn’t die but nevertheless, curiosity is just too hard to over look.

     Overall, The Transporter (2002) is a fun and entertaining action film filled with bone breaking fight scenes and wild stunts. Is it a bit unrealistic? Sure but it’s a movie so what else would you expect. The action scenes are meant to suspend your belief because this is one of those movies where it doesn’t need realism to make it more interesting. The Transporter" is an action movie with no plot required, and despite a few plot issues, the film is fun from beginning to end.

"Transportation is a precise business."
- Frank Martin

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  3.4 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  3.4 of 5 stars

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Cast & Crew
Directed by Louis Leterrier and Corey Yuen
Writing Credits Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Produced by 
     Luc Besson               ---   Producer
     Steven Chasman     ---   producer
     David Lai                  ---   associate producer
     Alfred Lot                 ---   associate producer
     Mehdi Sayah            ---   assistant producer
Music by Stanley Clarke  
Cinematography by Pierre Morel       
Film Editing by Nicolas Trembasiewicz         
Casting By Nathalie Cheron       
Production Design by Hugues Tissandier    
Costume Design by Martine Rapin
Jason Statham                ---        Frank Martin
Qi Shu                                 ---        Lai
Matt Schulze                    ---        Wall Street
François Berléand        ---        Inspector Tarconi
Ric Young                         ---        Mr. Kwai
Doug Rand                       ---        Leader
Didier Saint Melin        ---        Boss
Tonio Descanvelle         ---        Thug 1
Laurent Desponds         ---        Thug 2
Matthieu Albertini        ---        Thug 3
Vincent Nemeth             ---        Pilot
Jean-Yves Bilien            ---        Little Thug
Jean-Marie Paris           ---        Giant Thug
Adrian Dearnell             ---        Newscaster

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