Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Je L'Ai Regarde en Francais

I went to see the Transporter 2 today. I was impressed with the first one; smart, quick, good action, hot Jason Statham. But this one just felt like a really long commercial (complete with excessive product placements: Audi, Heineken, Aston Martin Vanquish, whatever suit Statham wore, a very sleek cell phone, ect.) with a semi-interesting plot drawing lines between the use of each product. Ebert and Roper complained that it was shot too quickly (i.e. quick camera shots and fast editing) and that one misses all the action because of it. When I heard their review, I thought they must really be nit-picking--it is an action film, afterall. But, this could not be more of an understatement. At one point, I thought I was going to be sick. The camera jostled about in one direction and the actors in another. It was too much. Statham in good at what he does. He kicks ass and looks cool doing it. Just like the first one, the fight/action sequences were excellently choreographed but Louis Leterrier (director) didn't allow the audience to see any of it. Instead, he upstaged his star with a severe misuse of the technology and budget available to him; any of the drama and suspense he worked to create in front of the camera was lost in the editing room.
This film does show another dimension to the Transporter's character in his interactions with the child he is in charge of chauffering around Miami, the semi-romance with the child's mother, in a way that doesn't turn him into the 'kindergarten cop' with a heart of gold. The writing credits include Luc Besson, and it isn't a bad film, but if ever a script, performance, millions of dollars were wasted away by one director! Leterrier must have been on speed-- he certainly made the audience feel like they were. But he didn't completely destroy the franchise for me and I'd like to see a third in this series sans Leterrier.


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