Transported To Heaven, Via Flying Barrel Rolls
The Transporter 2
Do I look stupid to you? Wait, don’t answer that. If the only thing you have to go on is the one picture of me buried on this site to judge my appearance, then I already know what your answer will be, so I’ll just rephrase that in the form of a statement. I do not look stupid. I look like I might think that Christian Bale looks a little doughy in The Machinist. I look like a sixteen year old who died at a Deicide concert three years ago and was raised into unlife by playing a Judas Priest record backwards. In short, I look like your cool bad-boy boyfriend in high school’s kid brother. But I do not look stupid. I don’t wear a Von Dutch Trucker hat, nor do I have any Fubu gear eight-sizes too big, and I have never owned a novelty t-shirt with the Adidas symbol corrupted into an enormous pot leaf. So why is it that I keep getting movies marketed to me and my demographic like I’ve got the intellectual capacity of a rapper on MTV Cribs? The Transporter 2 has got to be one of the stupidest action movies I’ve ever seen, and keep in mind that I’ve seen Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever. Oh, and before we go any further, I would like to state that I firmly do not believe that there is any such thing as a film that is ‘so-bad-it’s-good’. That has got to be the most overused film review phrase since Roger Ebert reduced the form to a level of simplicity so low that literacy has been replaced by the ability to recognize the image of a thumb. Things cannot be so bad they’re good, just as they cannot be both stupid and fun. Stupid is the exact opposite of fun, unless you’re one of those people who like to drink beer out of a funnel and lie down in traffic. Combining those two words does not make sense, like forming a sentence out of the phrases ‘surprisingly pleasant’ and ‘forced anal intercourse’, or when a guy you work with tells you a ‘funny’ story about the time two months ago when he bought a bunch of bananas from an ethnic grocer that were imported from Columbia and full of baby spiders, and now his apartment is infested and his girlfriend is lying dead in the bathtub with an egg sac lodged in her throat. It’s an oxymoron, and nothing is more oxymoronic than this movie.
God, I wish this was a joke.
First of all, as with most brain-dead action films from the mid-nineties onward, The Transporter 2 is about a killer genetically engineered virus. And of course, said virus is brightly colored and suspended in an elaborate crystal devise that makes it look like a high tech version of black cherry flavored Orbitz. And of course, our hero, ex-special forces soldier and current magic driver Frank Martin, has to spend the entirety of the movie chasing down the disease’s antidote. The fact that diseases don’t have ‘antidotes’ doesn’t seem to bother anyone involved with the movie. Poisons, I believe, have antidotes. I’m no William Goldman, but I am of the opinion that if you’re writing a screenplay for a big budget motion picture, you should take the time to research, say, English, so you know what words go where, and what they mean. That way, you could write about disease and use words like ‘cure’, ‘treatment’, or ‘antibody’ correctly, and not clue the audience in to the fact that your movie was written over a weekend during the commercial breaks of a Pimp My Ride marathon.
My favorite is Dysenberry
Then, of course, comes the fact that Frank Martin, played by the comically taciturn Jason Statham, has apparently gained magic powers since the original film. As I recall, thought the first film was improbable, it was not impossible. I realize that a certain degree of suspension of disbelief is a requirement for films released in late August and early September, but this is truly ridiculous. This movie flaunts laws of nature like creationist literature. No only can Statham make his car fly, he can dodge bullets, not like he’s John Rambo, but like he’s Jesus in a gunfight. In fact, the Jesus metaphor is a good one. Statham is like what the Vatican II might come up with, if they were interested in spreading Catholicism beyond illiterate Brazilians and Italian mobsters to The Fast and The Furious set. Instead of parables and pearls of loving wisdom, he spouts gravely one liners with just as much self-righteous import. He’s chaste, just like Jesus, plus he can kill a man with a single blow, which I understand Christ never did, but probably could have. And, judging by the box-office on this film’s opening weekend, he’s got quite the congregation. Frankly, I’d rather be in church.