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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Transporter 2

Last night, I watched Transporter 2. I liked the first movie, about a guy who drove, no questions asked, a lot so I decided to take a chance on the sequel even though the Asian actress from the first movie wasn't in the second.

In this movie, the transporter is working in Florida, and as a favor to someone, he's acting as chauffeur for a family, driving the little boy to and from school and to appointments, stuff like that. He's asked to take the kid to a doctor's appointment, but when he does, it's a set up. The bad guys have killed the real medical staff and taken their places in order to inject the boy with a deadly virus. The transporter manages to escape with him, but in the end, the bad guys kidnap the kid.

Of course, the cops think the transporter was part of the gang because he was forced to do some driving when the hench woman held a gun on the boy. So when the transporter calls to tell what really happened, they don't believe him. What follows is our hero trying to unravel the plot and rescue the kid and a lot of other people.

I did like this movie, but not nearly as well as the original film. The action here was taut and suspenseful--probably more so than in the original--and the fight scenes were almost as fun as the original as well. Yet something fell short for me. The plot was a little over the top and far fetched, but that normally doesn't bother me, and in essence, this is a martial arts movie, so it should have worked. The chief bad guy does take time to explain the situation to the hero, something that irritates me in movies and books. (I've tried to avoid this as much as possible when I write my own books, but geez, sometimes there's no other way to get the info across and it's sooo tempting. But I digress.)

After giving it some more thought, I decided what kept me from liking this movie as much as the first one was that there wasn't any romance in it. Not that the original Transporter had much romance either, but there was some and I thought the relationship between the transporter and the woman he rescued was great. I liked their chemistry and I would have loved to have seen them still together in this movie. I know that likely the actress had other commitments, but I did miss her.

The French inspector did make an appearance. I enjoyed him immensely and he added pretty much the only humor to this movie. That's another thing I missed from the original film--it had more amusing moments in it than this one did. There was almost a quirkiness about it that made me believe that they were all just having a great time filming it. Instead in T2, the only moments of lightness are the very few with the inspector, and IMO, he wasn't in nearly enough scenes.

The police, who in essence were working against the hero, were also not well defined. It would have been nice if we could have gotten a few more scenes from their POV in order to make them feel more real as characters. That probably would have increased the suspense as well.

There were a lot of things I did like about the movie. The actor who plays the transporter (I don't remember names real well and these people aren't stars so forgive the lack of accreditation) is engaging and enjoyable to watch. He's got the martial arts movie hero down really well and I think he could be a star in this subgenre.

The driving scenes are absolutely fabulous! This is one area where they surpassed the original movie. There's one stunt, where the transporter has to get a bomb off the bottom of his car, that is total genius.

The fight scenes are also well choreographed, and while they're not quite as quirky as in the original movie, there is one scene that combined humor and action really well and was one of the highlights for me.

Overall, I liked this movie a lot, but not quite as well as the original Transporter. I would watch a Transporter 3 if they make one, and would love to see the Asian actress from the original back in a second sequel with a little more romance between our driver and the woman. (And wouldn't it be cool if she kicked some butt as his partner in a third movie?!?)

On the NetFlix scale, I give Transporter 2 3.5 stars.