hmm, pushed back to the 11 October but this review makes it sound like it's as good as the trailer...
Ahoy squirts! 'Tis I, everybody's favorite ass kicking, oil slick of a seaman, Quint, here to give you folks the heads up on one of the hands down most fun flicks I've seen this year, Corey Yuen's THE TRANSPORTER.
Corey Yuen's a new filmmaker... to America. This sucker has been directing and acting in films overseas for the last 20 years. He's had roles in two of my favorite Sammo Hung films: EASTERN CONDORS and PEDICAB DRIVER. He's done the stunt choreography for a few of the lesser American/Hong Kong crossover flicks like THE ONE and KISS OF THE DRAGON. Those two films weren't great, but you have to admit the stunts and fighting in those films were pretty top notch.
So, Corey Yuen's full on American directorial debut (if you don't count his second unit direction on X-MEN) is the Luc Besson produced/co-written film THE TRANSPORTER, starring Jason Statham as the lead anti-hero, Frank Martin. I'm so happy that Statham is finally put to good use by someone other than Guy Ritchie. I love SNATCH, LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS is great, but in his American efforts... well, just say he's wasted. He was kinda alright in THE ONE... He played well with Jet Li... He was beyond wasted in JOHN CARPENTER'S GHOSTS OF MARS. This poor guy finally gets his moment to shine in THE TRANSPORTER.
He plays a mysterious and meticulous dirty delivery boy, essentially... In the South of France... bastard... He gets paid handsomely to transport things from one place to another safely, whether it be people, bags, suitcases, Kleenex, sex toys... whatever. He doesn't want to know. He doesn't care. If you can live with his rules (RULE #1: Don't change the deal. RULE #2: No names. RULE #3: Never look at the package (no, not his "package," you pervs!)), you will have the best of the best on your side, and almost guarantee your package arriving on time and in perfect condition.
And boy is he fuckin' badass in this movie. Statham shines, playing the anti-hero to perfection. The dirty guy with that pesky conscience and personal morality that makes him not a total cocksucker. He also oozes coolness out of every pore. Not the cocky coolness of, say, Vin Diesel in xXx or James Bond, but a confident coolness closer to that of Snake Plissken or The Man With No Name. Statham is no Clint Eastwood or Kurt Russell (in their prime, mind you), but he gives off that sort of natural cool. The kind of guy who walks into a room and you know he could kick your ass and he knows you know and feels no need to show off. He's the kind of guy who anticipates every angle and knows how to deal with things. He's the kind of guy you don't want to piss off.
The film's villain kinda comes up short against Statham's Frank Martin, but that's not a big deal. I've seen so many movies with great villains and lame-ass heroes. The villain in this movie as played by Matt Schulze (Chupa from BLADE 2) isn't shit. Likewise he isn't THE shit, but Schulze does a good job at playing the weirdo/yuppie-scum-sucker, he's just not given as much to work with as Statham was.
The action is top notch. The film reminds me a lot of Besson's previous co-writer/producer series TAXI. The car chases and stunts are unbelievable and get the adrenaline pumping. The fight scenes are dirty, cringe-inducing and never awkward or badly edited. It's a fun movie, pure and simple. Some of the events and plot points that pop up are a bit ridiculous, but never to the degree where they take you out of the fun. As much as I liked xXx every action scene in that movie was ridiculous. It was crazy fun to the point where it became more of a cartoon than a hard core action flick. Nothing wrong with that. I'm just saying that THE TRANSPORTER was much less of a cartoon, but no less fun.
It's a real drag that this film didn't come out this weekend. The powers that be decided to push it back to Oct. 11th, which has me conflicted on what to advise you folks to go see. Also opening on Oct. 11th is THE RULES OF ATTRACTION, which I haven't seen yet, but have read the script and seen some cool footage of. While THE TRANSPORTER is a helluva fun film, if RULES OF ATTRACTION lives up to the screenplay I'd have to support RULES. It's the more important film and it needs our money more than THE TRANSPORTER. I hope both are a success at the Box Office. I'll be seeing RULES OF ATTRACTION at the AICN/Cinematheque event at the Egyptian Theatre in a week's time, so I'll let you know how it fares. I expect genius, you hear that Avary? GENIUS!
At any rate, the business bullshit aside, I thought THE TRANSPORTER kicked a lot of ass and deserves to be seen. I don't know if it'll hold up on a second viewing as well as the classics of the genre (ie DIE HARD), but it was a helluva ride on the first viewing. If you want a kick-ass load of fun, then you must see THE TRANSPORTER... As I bid you squirts a fond farewell and adieu, I leave you with this question... Although I think he's doing a great job... When the hell is Besson going to stop writing and producing and fucking direct another movie? Not soon enough, that's for damn sure.