The Transporter (2002) - Review


Which movie comes to mind when you hear the name Jason Statham? Some will say Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrells, while other say The Expendables alongside Sylvester Stallone & Jet Li but most will remember him playing the lead role of Frank Martin in the action thriller film, The Transporter as the Transporter himself.
The Transporter is a 3 part movie which was given a reboot in 2015 with Ed Skrein replacing Jason Statham as the original Frank Martin. We rewind back to 2002 when we were introduced to the first installment directed by Louis Leterrier & Corey Yuen & written by Luc Besson. As a real life martial artist, the movie proved to be a perfect fit for Jason Statham as he made the role his own.

Living by a life of rules and valuing discipline, Frank Martin is a retired mercenary who now works freelance as a transporter. He is a highly skilled driver who transports anything and anywhere with no questions asked. He never accepts a deal unless the other party is willing to play by his rules which also makes him the best in the business let alone being always on time. He has three main rules which are:

Rule Number 1: "Once the deal is made, it is final", Rule Number 2: "No names", Rule Number 3: "Never open the package".

The film begins with Frank having to transport some robbers from a bank heist. On the day of the job, the robbers happen to have an extra man in their team which they had not mentioned to Frank so in return he refuses to drive until, with no option, the leader kills one of the his men. After a successful getaway, they offer Frank more & more to drive them further away from the city but he refuses, sticking to rule number 1 so the robbers part ways with Frank & escape with another car.

The intro itself signals that it won't be a typical action thriller, which gives a lot of curiosities, one of the most interesting being wether Frank will stick to all his rules throughout the film. A lot of surprises should be expected as well as a lot of fight scences. The film was cut in order to receive a PG-13 rating in the United States, and the same version was also released in the United Kingdom and several other countries.
Certain sequences of violence were either cut or toned down for the PG-13 cut. Receiving the uncut versions were France & Japan. Starring alongside Jason Statham are Shu Qi, François Berléand & Matt Schulze. The movie premiered in approximately 2,753 theaters, with a production budget of $21,000.000. It grossed $25,296.447 in the United States and a total of $43,928.932 worldwide with the film scoring 53% based on reviews from 126 critics on Rotten Tomatoes and garnering a rating of 5.6 out of 10.
The DVD version was released a year later on 23 October 2003.

~ Written by Tanaka Musanhi

Picture © EuropaCorb Distribution
Text © Tanaka Musanhi