Prayer Focus
Movie Review

The Transporter

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violent sequences and some sensuality

Reviewed by: Phil Owen
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Action Crime Thriller
Length:
1 hr. 32 min.
Year of Release:
2002
Relevant Issues
Jason Statham in “The Transporter”

courage, bravery, self-sacrifice

use of martial arts

smuggling illegal immigrants into a nation

How do moviemakers get viewers to root for a criminal hero?

Starring: Jason Statham, François Berléand, Shu Qi, more »

Directed by: Corey Yuen, Louis Leterrier

Produced by: Europa Corp., TF1 Films Production, Current Entertainment, Canal+, Luc Besson, Steve Chasman, David Lai, Alfred Lot, Mehdi Sayah

Written by: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Sequels: “The Transporter 2” (2005), “Transporter 3” (2008)

Let me start off by saying that “The Transporter” (starring Jason Statham and Shu Oi) is a solid action movie. The fight choreography and acting is nothing short of excellent! That being said, the story is a little lacking, but since the film is all action anyway, it doesn’t really matter.

Ex-Special Forces operator Frank Martin (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. Frank’s newest transport seems no different from the countless ones he’s done in the past. He has been hired by an American known only as “Wall Street” (see Rule Two: No Names) to make a delivery, but when Frank stops along route, he notices his “package” is moving. Violating his own personal rules, Frank looks inside the bag, finding its contents to be a beautiful, gagged woman. From there, he delivers the bag, with the woman inside, and we begin our endless stream of action sequences that get us to the film’s conclusion.

There is not much objectional material in this film: a little language (about 10 expletives) with the “sensuality” noted in the MPAA rating nothing more than a long kiss in a scene that ends quickly.

Overall, “The Transporter” is a fun action flick that definitely has the best martial arts scenes performed by a non-Asian actor that I have ever seen (it blows “Walker, Texas Ranger” out of the water). This film is worth a shot simply because of the sweet action and the little objectional material.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Neutral
Neutral—Wow. Great stunts. Nonstop action. I was tired after this movie. The heroine’s constant screaming was annoying. During one of the fight scenes I groaned audibly after a particularly well placed punch. The hero chose to selflessly help the defenseless at the end, after quite a bit of amoral and immoral behavior. I guess this sort of provided him with some redemption of a type. No great moral lessons here. Just escapism.
My Ratings: [Average / 3½]
—Mark L. Gilliam, age 40
Negative
Negative—Well, I’ll never get that 1½ hours back. This was a cheeseball-flick from the beginning, with stunts that leave you thinking… uh, yeah, right… This movie has the same qualities as “The 6th Day”—a no brainer, that only requires you to be patient with the poor scripting and average acting… If this movie were thrown into a pot, brought to a boil… the fight scenes would be left… and that, is what makes this movie sort-of-somewhat enjoyable. Wait for the cheap seats, or a friend to rent.
My Ratings: [Average / 1½]
—Heath, age 31
Negative—This film is a poor attempt at a cross between Jackie Chan and James Bond but only with marginal results. The acting is poor and the characters are not developed well. There are some decent scenes of what appears to be the south of France and there are some reasonably good chase scenes.

Overall, this film reminds me of the term paper that had to be written just to complete an assignment. The only problem is Hollywood doesn’t have to complete assignments and could put much more time and effort into fewer (better) films instead of trying to produced stuff for us to spend our money on that is devoid of quality on almost every front. The transporter has transported itself to the trash heap of my movie experience along with a few of my dollars.

If you must see the film PLEASE wait for the video. Become two hours older doing something besides sitting in the theater watching this poor attempt at entertainment. If they’d never put out anything any good then this movie might MIGHT be watchable but after being spoiled by what they can do I wonder why they bother with stuff like this. The main guy does provide some utilitarian relief in the end. However, this is no way balances the rest of what little plot there is.
My Ratings: [Average / 3½]
—Bob C, age 38
Movie Critics
…Although Martin appears to re-discover his moral foundation about what’s right, obscenities, pre-marital sex and exploited violence deliver damaged goods for THE TRANSPORTER…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…Violence consists of various people being shot to death; other killing/deaths and attempts on others’ lives; scenes featuring martial arts fighting with brutal punching, kicking and hitting of others…
—ScreenIt!
…Ultimate applause goes to Cory Yuen who put it all together. He took a multi-lingual cast and crew, in France, with a martial arts theme, to make a film of great entertainment…
—Leslie Bates, Latino Review
Comments from young people
Positive—This movie was one of the best action movies I have seen in a long time. First, the main actor, I forget his name, did a great job of playing his role. Second, the action in the movie was somewhat unrealistic, but extremely entertaining at the same time. Nothing in this movie was offensive, besides the usual action violence which isn’t very offensive to me if it is not taken to far. I would recommend to see this movie on a Friday or Saturday night and enjoy yourself.
My Ratings: [Good / 4½]
—Christian Spotlight user, age 15
Positive—The first thing I want to say is, this movie was awesome! The Transporter was very clean next to the James Bond movies in terms of sex. The closest thing to it is kissing on a bed. There was barely any “really bad” cursing. The plot was good, the acting; beautiful and a lot of very well preformed action scenes.
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
—Kevin Schroeder, age 12
Positive—Despite its many weaknesses, I liked Transporter. Yes, the plot was pure testosterone and the action was unrealistic. But, being a action fan, I myself enjoyed it. Nearly halfway through the movie dried up and left me disappointed with the mess of a ending. I think Transporter could have been great. I can recommemd this to people who love action movies but aren’t bothered by a poor script and absolutely no susbstance. There was some language and a brief sex scene, mild in nature without anything explicit being shown.
My Ratings: [Average / 2½]
—L. S. Loewen, age 16
Negative—hmm, okay for people who want to know if this is appropriate movie, this should be only teen to adult. first of all it has lot of swearing than it has lot of action and fighting (not gory not much blood or anything nasty) than it has the girl take her cloth of to sleep with the other guy. don’t worry it doesn’t show anything but still kissing scene and such. they show her butt but just turn away at that moment. Otherwise it’s not too offensive, but I don’t advise kids under teen to watch it.

Movie wise, it really stunk. For action fan, watch it just for action. however, story and stuff really doesn’t conclude much… no story, well some story but not much you know what I mean? just all action. so it’s pretty stupid, it’s like “Scorpion King,” all action and pretty girl. Same way it was pretty girl (yet no nudity) (but need to turn your head for a minute) and all action. while you watch it it’s entertaining, afterward you say “waste of 10 bucks”…
My Ratings: [Average / 2]
—Seung, age 15