WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
A bunch of bad guys want to bring some hijacked container ships carrying toxic waste into a Ukrainian port, but government minister Vasilev (Krabbe) won’t let them, so they kidnap his daughter Valentina (Rudakova) and get you know who – the Transporter, Frank Martin (Statham) – to deliver her across Europe in his souped up Audi.
The twist is that rather than it being a paid job, the growling, six-packed driver who always sticks to his rules finds himself wearing a powerful bomb on his wrist, which is programmed to detonate if he gets too far from his car.
This means that he can’t run away – or indeed, without spoiling the fun, swim away – on the many occasions that he finds himself frustrated with his human package or confronting evil gunmen who might as well be transporting the girl themselves, since they seem to be following him all the way.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Plot? Forget about it. This is just a crazy excuse for a range of insane fight and stunt sequences, as Statham uses his neatly pressed suits as weapons against his foes, when his revolver is out of his reach – and finds himself driving off bridges onto the top of a moving train and pretty much driving underwater or sideways between two speeding lorries – you know the kind of thing.
Its fight and stunt choreography are remarkable and the cinematography is bright and exciting, although the editing is a little irritating, overusing, as it does, jump cuts.
It’s a brainless hour and a half of fun and frolicks that’s does exactly what you’ll expect it to do – thrill you without taxing you.
There are many moments that are so ridiculous that you are praying you are laughing with the film-makers, rather than at them, but with a director who clearly takes his stage name from a big bomb, the explosive action is likely to be tongue in cheek.
The action sequences will stick with you long after the film – but as all the bad guys blend into one another and one city gives way to another in the criss-crossing of Europe, you won’t have a clue who’s been doing what to whom, where or why.
The guys will probably want to rush straight from the cinema and stop off at the gym for a workout on the way to the Audi showroom. And the girls won’t be far behind.
opens nationwide 5th December 2008