Transporter 2 (2005)
|Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Thriller|
|Fox || PG13 - 87 minutes - $29.99 || January 10th, 2006|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2006-01-14|
Writer(s): Luc Besson (characters/written by) & Robert Mark Kamen (characters/written by)
Cast: Jason Statham, Alessandro Gassman, Amber Valletta, Kate Nauta, Matthew Modine, Jason Flemyng, Keith David, Hunter Clary, François Berléand
Theatrical Release Date: September 2nd, 2005
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Back in 2002, I felt The Transporter had an interesting idea and a wild opening chase sequence, only to have devolve into a story that seemingly director Luc Besson cared more about than I did. Since the original was filmed in Europe, in order to expand on some more box office (it made $22m vs. $45m), Transporter 2 was made in saucy Miami where the women are hot and the women villain or, in this case, sidekick, are even hotter. Where The Transporter had a mixture of thriller and over-the-top action, the sequel throws any thriller aspect and sticks with xXx-like action sequences (hell, the score reminded me of it). Like xXx, it is a MUST for suspension of disbelief because if you do not, I doubt you can enjoy the movie whatsoever.
Jason Statham returns as the Transporter on his newest mission: driving a government official's (Modine) kid to and fro school or other appointments. However, he runs into trouble after villain Gianna (Gassman) attempts to kidnap the kid, which, of course, leads into a major gun battle and we get to see, as previously mentioned, hot baddie sidekick (Nauta), spray a doctor's office full of bullets. And, well, that's about it... In between the "plot" are a few car chases and numerous fight scenes.
Even though the plot's thin, the action and fight sequences are good enough to overcome those flaws. And did I mention the hot sidekick? Of course, she's not for everybody... like this movie.
After viewing these features, it reminded me of Fox's own initial release of Man on Fire, a DVD that despite having two commentary tracks, had little else going for it. Well, Transporter 2 has some lengthy deleted/extended scenes, but no commentary or much else, which means you can count on a two-disc collector's edition in a few months.
Deleted/Extended Scenes - There are 14 scenes in all, most of which are more alternate, but easily would've garnered the film an 'R' rating. Since it is the belief that a watered down, PG-13 actioner will bring in more money, scenes with blood and such were toned down and, in one instance, the end of the "Garage Fight Scene" ends with a pole through a bad guy's chest...
Making of Transporter 2 - Generic material in this 8-minute "featurette", giving an overview of the movie with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. Obviously Fox has more in the vault like stunt coordination or casting that this is more of a teaser than anything.
Making the Music - Gives a minor glimpse into how the score was composed, the composer himself and the style he and the director wanted. Like the other featurette, nothing of note in this one either. Pretty standard stuff that, hopefully, will be expanded in the later edition.
Gag Reel - Some find these dumb, but I for one love 'em. This one has very funny moments, but it's way too short (running under two minutes). Still, it was nice to have so I can't complain too much.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Although Fox is the leader in double dipping, one must give kudos to the sound of their initial releases as each of them (from Man on Fire to I, Robot to Fantastic Four) have the mighty DTS track to give to the cinephile like myself. Unfortunately, despite the early details sent to the press, there was no DTS track to be found. Instead we get the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that is enough compensation and provides a nice depth to the soundtrack (especially the score and music).
Of course since this is a new release, the picture transfer looks fine and I couldn't really find much wrong here. Fox has gone the Universal route by using a flipper disc with the widescreen version on one side (along with the deleted/extended scenes) and full frame on the other (with the rest of the features). Personally, I wish all the features were on one side, but I do like they put both versions so that others don't accidentally buy one aspect over the other.
As a mindless actioner, Transporter 2 certainly succeeds, not plot needed. I really enjoyed the movie for what it was and since my expectations were fairly low, I guess it didn't take much. That said, this DVD does not measure up at all. While there were plenty of deleted footage, how about more featurettes? Oh, that's right... Double-dip. If you don't care about the features or the lack of a DTS track, then go for this one. I imagine in about two or three months you might see this release at Best Buy (or Circuit City) for 2 for $20... If you can wait a little longer, the Collector's Edition will be worth your while.