"Mercenary Turns Hero"
What You Need To Know:
TRANSPORTER 2 is an enjoyable action romp that is stylistic and thrilling. Jason Statham reprises his role as Frank Martin, and he plays it with an enjoyable mix of no-nonsense-tough-guy, heartwarming hero and a dash of humor. Even so, some of the stunts are over-the-top and laughable. Also, this movie is definitely an extreme caution, because of its intense action sequences, pervasive violence, partial nudity, and brief foul language. Despite these negative elements, the movie has a light moral worldview.
(B, C, L, VVV, S, NN, AA, D, M) Light moral worldview with elements where hero of the story sacrifices his own well-being as he attempts to save others, mitigated by some immoral elements; eight obscenities (including one muffled "f" word), one profanity and one obscene gesture; very strong action violence throughout the film including one man beats down four thugs who try and hijack his car, villain training in samurai sword techniques takes out his aggression on his trainers, a nurse and dentist shot by a female assassin, several stabbings throughout the film, plenty of gunfire in the movie, explosions in a dentist’s office, car crashes, high-speed car chases where a lot of police officers wreck their vehicles and innocent bystander’s vehicles are hit as well, a child is kidnapped and held for ransom, more of the hero fighting villains and ruffians as well as man fighting female assassin, a man is injected with a syringe, thug’s neck is broken, and man paralyzed by a punch to his back, and an airplane crash; light sexuality includes a female assassin with a penchant for sadomasochism dances seductively in her lingerie in front of several businessmen, implied fornication between villain and female assassin, a drunk married woman tries to seduce the hero but he resists (despite being attracted to her) and later she thanks him by saying, “Thank you for the time and respect,” and sadist female assassin licks a man’s face and ear; some partial sexual nudity (though no private parts are exposed), such as female cleavage, several shots of a tattoo on a woman’s upper thigh, the female assassin is shown throughout the film in her lingerie (apparently that is the way she likes to dress when she is in murder-mode), and naturalistic upper male nudity, female assassin’s bare back and side of her breast shown as well as a brief shot of her behind, and female assassin fights hero in her lingerie; married woman appears drunk but the drinking is not depicted, villain drinks in his private jet, and a funny moment where a homeless wino is about to take a drink when a car flies over his head and he decides to put the bottle away; some smoking; and, kidnapping, a villainous character who blackmails a high-profile family after kidnapping their son, villain plans to infect people with a deadly virus, and hero must defy the system and use vigilante justice in order to stop the villain (but it's usually done more in the spirit of self-defense rather than serious cruelty or vengeance).
THE TRANSPORTER 2 is the follow-up sequel which thrusts driver Frank Martin into yet another wild action ride as the mercenary who transports goods, no questions asked. Frank has recently relocated to Miami where, as a favor to a friend, he is driving for the political Billings family. This short-term job includes driving the parents’ son Jack to and from school, which is not exactly the job kind of job that Frank is used to, but six-year-old Jack Billings is hardly the kind of person that Frank is used to. Over his short contract with the family, Frank and Jack become fast friends. However, when Jack is kidnapped, Frank becomes one of the main suspects.
Frank has made a promise to young Jack: that he wouldn’t let anyone hurt Jack, and one of Frank’s rules is to never make a promise you can’t keep. So, Frank finds himself out on the lamb against federal agents who are trying convict him of Jack’s kidnapping. While Frank is being hunted, he must also hunt down the man who is responsible for Jack’s kidnapping.
However, once Jack is reunited with his family, the villain’s true master plan is revealed. Young Jack has been infected with a deadly virus and anyone he comes in contact with is infected as well. Jack’s father, a drug enforcement politician, becomes infected unknowingly and heads to a large political summit with key leaders from all over the world. Now, Frank must use all of his skills and prowess as an ex-Special Forces operative as he races against the clock to find the antidote, not only to save his young friend Jack but also to stop a potential world-wide epidemic.
From the reluctant hero, to the archetypal villain, to the countless gun-toting thugs, to the high-speed car chases, to the massive explosions, TRANSPORTER 2 has all the elements of a formula Hollywood action movie. Director Louis Leterrier has definitely studied the action film genre. The movie’s auto-action sequences are expertly done, and the fight scenes are well-choreographed. Using quick cuts and edits, along with well-placed camera angles, Leterrier tackles the film with style and flair.
Jason Statham reprises his role as Frank Martin, and he plays it with an enjoyable mix of no-nonsense-tough-guy, heartwarming hero and a dash of humor. He is joined by a great cast which includes international film star Alessandro Gassman, who plays the egomaniacal Gianni with superb strength; as well as Amber Valetta and Matthew Modine, who portray the political couple, Mr. and Mrs. Billings. They nicely fill the roles as Jack’s estranged parents. Jack is likeably played by young newcomer Hunter Clary.
Then there is Kate Nauta, who plays the vicious Lola, a sadomasochistic assassin who is only able to kill if she is in her lingerie and military boots. Lola is by far the weakest character in the film, which is strange considering she is supposed to fill the role of “unstoppable killer.” The fact that the director had to put this lovely young woman into lingerie every time she went on a rampage was a weak and impotent character choice. . . not to mention that it just added unneeded sexuality into the film.
The movie’s script itself is just a vehicle for the vehicles, the driver and the action sequences. There were no major plot twists; the story was straight-forward. There is absolutely no heavy-thinking in this one; only heavy-hitting. Plus, the movie also falls prey to the sequel-trap of less plot, bigger explosions, more fights, and oftentimes hilariously unbelievable, over-the-top stunts.
The philosophical danger in this film is that it follows in the footsteps of many others in its genre such as: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and Man On Fire, by extolling vigilante justice and supporting the idea of the reluctant anti-hero. It seems that Hollywood still believes that the only way to get anything done is to do it yourself, even if that means breaking laws and going outside the system. The movie also praises the idea that as long as the anti-hero attains his goal, it does not matter how many innocent people are hurt in the process because “the end justifies the means.” Even so, in this story, Frank is often motivated by a desire to do good, save the little boy and defend himself rather than exact vengeance. Thus, the movie has a light moral worldview, despite its questionable elements.
Overall, TRANSPORTER 2 is an enjoyable action romp that is stylistic and thrilling. This movie is definitely an extreme caution, however, because of its intense action sequences, pervasive violence, partial nudity, and brief foul language, including one muffled “f” word (see our CONTENT section above for more details).