The long awaited sequel to The Transporter (2002) finally came to cinema in Kampala. The smooth and deadly driver got around, it seems and survived in his thankless job. Because now he has resurfaced in The Transporter 2.
Frank Martin (Jason Statham), the driver who is ruled by a code (never open the trunk, never ask questions) is doing a friend a favour in Miami, driving the little son of the director of America’s Drug Enforcement Agency (Mathew Modine) and liking the gig a little too much because he is getting too attached to the little boy. It is a lot like Denzel’s character in Man on Fire and one can’t help but smirk when the comparison creeps in.
The drug mafia is not happy with the policies of the politician and they weave a plot too scary, if it ever goes through, the world will never be the same again. They kidnap the little boy from right under the nose of Martin, who is useless in the situation because he is looking at the barrels of two big guns, wielded by the violent vixen, Lola (Katie Nauta), who thinks when she wears her make up and underwear, she can go to the ball. She works for a drug runner (Alessandro Gassman) who is on contract to kill the politician.
Of course, the hero swears to get the boy back and he has to break hundreds of bones, be involved in as many car chases and survive. He also has to get the mind-boggling powers of Keanu Reeves in The Matrix; doge bullets. But all this is a piece of cake for the deadly assassin. He is ex- Special Forces, remember and he has seen action in the worst trouble spots in the world where America has meddled before. He goes through the motions of dispatching bad guys without breaking a sweat.
The movie is straight out of a comic book. The martial arts sequences are alright because we have seen Jackie Chan pull off some really crazy stunts and we are told they are real. But when it comes to the other stunts, the true lies become too much.
Even James Bond would frown at some of the things that happen here; the speed boat chasing a bus and then jumping onto the free way, then Martn jumps into the bus, the plane crushing into the sea and the two guys coming out unscathed, except for the bruises inflicted by their own fists. The biggest lie is the car bomb scene. Martin sees a bomb stuck to the under side of his shiny Audi, he drives it off a ramp and as it spins in the air, a hook dislodges the bomb as it explodes. Even the guys in the cinema last Saturday jeered. We know this is a movie but some things are best left for Superman.
Gassman is a one-dimensional character. At best, he is a bad cliché. He is the baddie but there is really no explanation for his savagery. It is as though he came out of his mother’s womb and asked for a hypodermic syringe to stick in someone. Nauta’s Lola is superb only as far as looks go. The guy who holds this film in place is Statham, who, like Jet Li, speaks only if he cannot help it. From Italian Job to The Transporter, he is still the same cool as ice dude.