Author’s Note: The Month of the Getaway Driver continued with the second installment, Jason “Oi, you wut mate” Statham’s “The Transporter.”
6 years and some Krav Maga belts later, I still don’t understand The Oil Fight Scene.
Last week, we tagged along for a Drive with Ryan Gosling. Throughout February, we’ll continue our journey into the mind of a getaway driver. For those of you who had found Drive to be a bit…loaded, perhaps you’ll find this week’s film more your speed:
“The Transporter” (2002)
“That’s your last pee break for this trip.”
– Frank Martin
“But I have to go to the bathroom real bad! Are we there yet? Dick Chang keeps touching me!”
The Transporter is particularly special for me because it served as my introduction to Jason Statham. Yes, I saw this movie before such classic crime capers as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000). Since then, Statham has appeared in countless other films (mostly action) and, yes, two more Transporters. Hey, if you can do something, do it well and get paid handsomely for it…why change?
Hey, DT! Convince me! So…why: The Transporter?
Unlike Drive, The Transporter does not take itself quite so seriously. The action is over-the-top ridiculous, the plot is laughable and there are plenty of winks to the audience. And guess what? It still kicks ass. It also provides another interesting take on the character of the getaway driver.
In this case, our hero is Frank Martin (Statham). Frank is truly a man of mystery. Where does he come from? What’s his story? Who knows? He’s apparently invincible, and he doesn’t get caught up with things like wearing a disguise while breaking the law. Frank lives in a way too nice house in the south of France. Frank’s job, simply put, is to deliver packages from Point A to Point B, no questions asked. Your package could a box, a crate or even several packages. In keeping with the general motif of getaway drivers we have analyzed up until now, The Transporter lives by a certain set of rules. He likes to mind his own business. He doesn’t like to peek at the package. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. What doesn’t hurt him allows him to continue doing his job and being paid handsomely. The audience is only treated to a few of Frank’s rules, such as “Rule Number 1: Never change the deal” or “Rule Number 2: No names.” When I get bored, I like to pretend he has several hundred rules, including “Rule Number 10: No jokes about my collection of Justin Bieber CDs” and “Rule Number 784: Pandas are silly.”
Frank’s life and livelihood are (surprise!) turned upside down after he breaks one of his cherished rules. The Transporter is forced to run for his life, fight for his life, fight for other people’s lives, give the slip to a nosy police inspector, fall in love and, hey…maybe he’ll find some time to drive along the way.
Now that you’re here, check out:
“The Oil Fight Scene.” Yeah, I said it. What is this, I don’t even? Where to begin? What’s with the oil? Why does everyone involved act like this is nothing out of the ordinary? I just…I….have nothing to say. Just watch and wonder what in the blue hell was going on inside of the mind of whoever thought this up.
Who brings a DVD to a gunfight? You do (If it’s The Transporter):
If it’s action you’re looking for, look no further. The Transporter pretty much kicks the ass of everyone with a name and a face. And, well, an ass…I guess. As the audience learns a bit more about Frank’s past, it will make a bit more sense why he is able to do some of what he does. Key words: SOME OF. The rest of his abilities defy humanity, gravity and even common sense. Did you know it’s possible to beat someone up with a sweater? I didn’t either, but I’m hoping to give it a shot some day. I just need to get my hands on a sweater, first.
The driving in The Transporter is top notch, if not a little too convenient at times. Still, it’s always fun to watch someone do things you wouldn’t even dream of attempting in your car. One scene in particular seems to have come straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Damn…was that really 1981?? Anyway, see if you can pick out the scene for yourself.
This is the end…
Now, I can’t vouch for any of the sequels (yet), but The Transporter is a nifty little action flick for you to check out sometime. Unlike Drive, there’s no Oscar buzz here. At least, not until they create an award for “Best Supporting Ass-Kicking.” Therefore, there is no reason for you to arrive here with astronomical expectations. You already know what you’re going to be treated to: some quality fight scenes and some smooth as silk driving. You won’t be beat over the head with moral lessons, you won’t be expected to memorize a million characters or plot points and you won’t have to suffer through hours of awkwardly romantic dialogue. You will be taken from Point A to Point B, no questions asked. And, unlike Frank, you are encouraged to peek. – DT