The Stax Report: TRANSPORTER 2
June 16th, 2004
Stax had an opportunity to review The Transporter 2 screenplay by Luc Besson (The Professional THE PROFESSIONAL) and Robert Mark Kamen (THE KARATE KID).
The Transporter 2 struck me as a more lightweight Man on Fire. Both stories follow a mercenary protagonist who is humanized by his relationship with his young charge ... until the bad guys call down the thunder. The theme of the violent individual who is tamed by a civilizing presence is territory that Luc Besson previously explored in The Professional and La Femme Nikita. I agree with Roger Ebert who said of the first film that "Statham's character, who had a grim fascination when he was enforcing the rules, turns into just another action hero when he starts breaking them." Now by making Frank a working stiff who likes kids, the intriguing "transporter" concept that was the best element of the first film is no longer that important. On the positive side, this script had more narrative focus and was less cheesy than the original film, which made it better than expected. The action certainly seemed high-octane but nothing compares to seeing it played out. Fans who liked the first Transporter for its visceral sequences should likely enjoy this outing as well.
The Transporter 2 may have lacked the high concept that made (the first part of) the original film somewhat different but it should nevertheless satisfy its core audience's longing for chop-socky fare. – STAX
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