Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) is the most highly-skilled transporter money can buy. The stakes are greater and technology better, but the same three simple rules apply: never change the deal, no names, and never open the package. When Frank is hired by cunning femme fatale Anna and her three stunning sidekicks, he quickly discovers he’s been played.
Jason Statham already played the character of Frank Martin in the three previous installments of THE TRANSPORTER. The problem with those movies also appears to be a problem with this movie: they are all style over substance, like a pretty blonde with nothing but fresh air occupying the space between her ears. Director Camille Delamarre directed BRICK MANSIONS which itself was a remake of French movie DISTRICT 13. He displays the sort of directorial flair that would be sufficient to fill a 30-second advert, but it’s a skill he cannot maintain over 90 minutes. Part of the problem is the terrible script. When it’s delivered by a cast of vacuous actors, it’s hard to take any of it seriously without fighting the urge to roll your eyes. It’s a problem because the film then struggles to hold your attention.
There are some very good car chases and Ed Skrein’s martial arts are not too bad; it’s just a shame he’s a complete charisma free zone. Ray Stevenson also stars as Frank Sr. and he is probably the best thing in the film. He delivers his lines well and is always worth watching. There are some serious continuity errors, though, like seeing Ed Skrein’s hair grow in the space of two minutes. Overall, though, THE TRANSPORTER is a film that you will watch, stick it on the shelf and probably never look at again.
The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 with a codec MPEG-4 AVC and 1080p HD resolution, so yes, it’s pretty to look at — lots of vibrant colours and deep blacks. There is no real noticeable edge enhancement.
With the audio, you have the choice of 5.1 DTS Master Audio or standard 2.0 Stereo. If you have the means, then 5.1 is always the preferred choice as it really gives you every sound the movie has to offer. Those with standard set-ups should choose 2.0, as if you don’t have surround sound and choose 5.1, then you’ll find that everything but the dialogue is really loud.
The sound of gunfire rips through the speakers. Glass smashing, cars crashing and punches landing all have a real sense of force. The score by Alexandre Azaria is suitably bombastic for the sort of shallow action affair on show here, full of generic club beats and thumping bass. Good, but as forgettable as the movie.
First up, you have a video titled ‘Rocketing from 0-60’ (5 minutes 40 seconds) which gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the car chases and various stunts in the movie. Then it’s ‘Frank Martin: The Reluctant Hero’ which lasts for just over 9 minutes and has various cast members talking about the character of Frank Martin and also Ed Skrein who plays him. ‘The Coeur Brise: Les Femmes of Refuelled’ runs for just over 5 minutes 30 seconds and talks about the group of females who lead Frank Martin on a wild mission to escape from their evil boss. Rounding the extras off are a theatrical trailer and photo gallery. So not too bad of a selection, I’d say.
If you have a few friends over after a night out, then this film is ideal if you want to switch your brain off and relax. However, it’s not something that may hold up to repeated viewings, and if action movies aren’t your thing, then you probably aren’t reading this review.
Jonathan McEvoy (Nightbreed1984)