This is my favourite Statham movie. Everything that you loved about the first movie, everything you love about Statham, heck everything you love about going to the movies is here in this movie.
Having left the transporting game behind, Frank Martin has moved to Florida and become the chauffeur for a diplomat and his wife. The couple's relationship is on the rocks, leaving their young son to bond with the mysterious driver. When his little friend is kidnapped, Frank goes back into action to save him.
For a long time, I thought director Louis Letterier was a genius. I thought he had the perfect take on what an OTT action movie should look and feel like. That feeling didn't last (Clash of the Titans anyone?), but my love for this movie sure has.
And I would argue that while The Transporter showed that Jason Statham could kick ass, the sequel was the movie that made him a name in the genre. After Transporter 2, Statham's filmography becomes crowded with bullets, explosions and twisted axels.
Everything the first movie gets right, this movie does better. One had Martin fighting a gang while covered in motor oil, Two has Martin fighting a gang with a fire hose. One had bad man Wall Street. Two has bad girl Lola. One had Shu Qi screaming. Two has silence. This movie is great!
Sure, the plot is hackneyed, the attempts to humanise Frank fall flat, the subplot with the kid is cloying and stupid, and the dialogue might actually be worse than the first movie.
.... it doesn't matter. It never matters. In fact, all these supposed checks against the movie's quality merely add to its vibe.
I called The Transporter a live-action cartoon. This movie makes its prequel look like a Mike Leigh movie.
Every time the action Cranks up (heheheh), this movie is elevated to another plane of awesome. Frank Martin goes from action hero to superhero, using his car to perform a variety of gravity-defying stunts (including the bit where he jumps his car off a building, and turns it sideways so that a construction crane can knock off the bomb attached to the undercarriage). There's a fight on a plane which features some of the worst CGI ever but it's still cool, because it's an excuse to have a fight in low gravity.
This one even has a villain to write home about: Lola (Kate Nauta), the villain's psychopathic hench woman. She dresses in-appropriately, dances at inappropriate times and is constantly trying to shoot people in the face. Nauta's acting is patchy, but the character is so off-the-wall and entertaining it doesn't matter.
In the end, Transporter 2 is one of the best guilty pleasure action movies I've ever seen. In the Stathm pantheon, this one sits pretty high. Check it out.
The Transporter (2002)