Jason Statham is a transporter. He transports things for crooks such as mysterious packages or the crooks themselves. He’s pretty good at this and is making a nice amount of cash doing so, however when one of his packages begins to move problems begin to arise.
The Transporter is the archetypal Jason Statham movie. It’s got the gruff voice, it’s got the crazy car chases and most importantly it’s got the fight scene in which the Stath has to get undressed in order to defeat his foes. It’s also just a brilliantly fun action movie.
No-one ever claimed or thought The Transporter would be a character piece of high art. So if you go in with those kind of expectations, well you are doing the film thing wrong. Transporter set about to be a pure adrenaline rush of a movie and that is exactly what it is. But I also think it’s a very self-aware film, it embraces its own ridiculousness but doesn’t so far as to become an actual spoof. And with this it gets away with stunts more outrageous than something like Bourne would get away with.
Central to the success and fun of Transporter is, of course, Jason Statham. He’s brilliant. He does all the acting required of him well enough being gruff and quite set in his ways but with a soft centre. However what is important in this film is the action, and no one does action better than Statham. He fights like a dancer, a trait which could not be said about very many Hollywood actors of today. And the camera knows this, so the fight scenes are not all choppy hand held camera malarkey, it lets you bask in his awesomeness. Statham is also not afraid of embracing the homo-erotic side of the male-focused action genre. Because think about it, we are all enjoying just watching a muscly man beat up other muscly men. So we have the oil slicked fight scene, in which Statham literally wrestles half naked with other men.
Overall, it’s not high art. But it is blood good fun.