Murda Takes Action : The Transporter (2002)
There are three things you need to know about me.
FIRST, I believe cookies are the superior dessert, and cupcakes should crawl back to the hell from which they came. YOU WILL NEVER BE AS GOOD AS CAKE. STOP TRYING, AND JUST BE A MUFFIN!
SECOND, do not challenge me to a sit up contest. You'll lose, and I'll make you feel real bad about it.
And THIRD, I love action movies.
This is something I used to have a hard time admiting, but I know this is a safe space. I used to labor under the impression that if I am dedicating two hours of my life on seats composed of 20 years worth of dead skin and semen, the film better be considered “educational,” or “art.” But honestly, is there anything better than seeing two beefy men with names like The Rock and Vin Diesel come to blows in an uninterrupted fight sequence? I THINK NOT! So pull up your panties dandies, I'm taking on action movies.
In the category of action heroes, I always saw Jason Statham as an enigma. He’s shorter than the average action star. Not Tom Cruise short, but still. You wouldn't call him typically handsome, and he doesn't have cartoon muscles. But goddamnit, after Transporter I'm a Stathamite.
The Transporter was the film that launched Jason Statham to a full blown B-movie action star. The plot in the first in of a four film franchise, is expertly crafted by writers Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, who are also responsible for the Taken series and The Fifth Element. Jason Statham stars as ex-special forces officer Frank Martin, who started a “premium” driver service in his retirement. But this bro don’t play. He maintains his military adherence to rules in his new day job. If you hire Frank Martin, you cannot change the terms of a contract and you will not know you hired Frank Martin - no names. Let’s remember that this film was released in 2002, obviously this would be an impossible standard in the days of Google image search.
Eventually Frank breaks one his own rules, and what was originally an interesting meditation on one man’s post-military life in a scenic French town turns into full-on Martial Arts film. From there we get a damsel in distress named Lai, who seems to have learned English just for this film. Her father Mr. Kwai is the villain of our story and Ric Young is doing his best drag queen with the day off impression. There are so many different types of mobsters in this movie, and maybe only one French person. Which I find especially strange since it is set IN France.
If this still doesn't convince you to watch the film, please know that there is an extended fight scene involving an oil slicked floor. It is truly transcendent, and I want to make out with the person who came up with the concept. Come for the terrible accent work, stay for the shirtless Statham.