Happy Pie day everyone. MMMMMMMM, PIE!!!! I think I might get some on the way home tonight. With the way my work week is going, I could use the pick-me-up as I am most likely in for another slow, boring day at work. Luckily, a movie like this can help get the day started off right as there is nothing like a nice, adrenaline-fueled movie to get the blood pumping. So this was actually the first movie in the series that I watched, mainly because I was bored while wandering through Blockbuster and ended up renting it. So let’s get to driving with today’s movie, Transporter 2.
The plot: Frank Martin is sitting in his car in a parking garage in Miami, FL when he is approached by a teenage girl. The girl asks for his help in changing a flat tire but when Frank says he has an appointment and can’t be late, the girl points a gun at his head and tells him to get out. Frank gets out of the car as 4 men come out of hiding and get in the car but when they can’t start it due to the security code, they get out intending to beat Frank for the code. Frank quickly takes down the men, then tells the girl to go home before he climbs back in the car and drives off. Frank arrives at his destination and picks up Jack Billings from school, who excitedly asks if he can play a guessing game with Jack. When they arrive at the Billing’s home, Frank notices Jack’s parents, Jefferson and Audrey, arguing on the front steps and pulls past the steps so Jack doesn’t see it, under the pretense that he is letting Jack finish the game. After their argument finishes, Audrey approaches the helps Jack win the game, then thanks Frank for filling in for their usual chauffeur the past month. Audrey also thanks him for keeping Jack from seeing their argument and asks Frank if he can take Jack to his doctor’s appointment in the morning, which Frank says yes. Meanwhile, some scientists meet with Gianni Chellini, giving him a virus and the antidote, which he places in a safe, then tells his girlfriend, Lola, what to do with the virus, which he hands to Dimitri. That night, Audrey shows up at Frank’s house slightly drunk and attempts to seduce him but Frank talks her out of it and she thanks him for turning her down before heading home. The next day, Lola, Dimitri, and another of Gianni’s men head to the doctor’s office and kill the doctor and nurse, then take their places. When Frank and Jack get there, Lola greets them, explaining that the usual doctor and nurse have the flu, and Dimitri takes Jack into the examination room, telling Frank he can wait in the lobby. As he is waiting, Frank receives a call from Inspector Traconi, who was coming to spend a holiday in Miami with Frank and arrived early, but Frank notices something is wrong and blood coming from the closet where Gianni’s men had stuffed the bodies. Telling Traconi to take a cab to his house, Frank heads into the examination room and stops the men from giving Jack a shot. Dimitri and the other man attack Frank, who has Jack crawl through the air ducts into the other room, and Frank manages to subdue the men but when he is knocked through the doorway, Lola starts shooting at him. Frank manages to duck into the closet where Jack is hiding and use a gas tank to cause an explosion, stunning Lola and allowing them to get away. Lola accidentally shoots the other man, then tells Dimitri to get out before contacting their driver and telling him to place a bomb underneath Frank’s car. Frank and Jack leave and head back to the Billing’s house but as they get there, he is contacted by Gianni, who tells him a sniper rifle is currently trained on Jack. Frank is forced to allow Lola in the car and drive away from the house, evading the police in the process, and Lola directs him towards the harbor, where Gianni is waiting inside a boat house. After his men grab Jack, Gianni calls the Billings’ house and asks for $5 million in ransom to be delivered in 2 hours or else he will kill Jack. After hanging up, Gianni tells Frank to leave but as Frank starts to get in his car, he sees the bomb reflected in a puddle on the ground. Frank drives away, then speeds up and manages to drive up a ramp and flip the car, snagging the explosive on a nearby crane’s hook, just before Lola can detonate it. Frank contacts the Billings, where an irate Jefferson blames Frank for what happened, thinking he was in on it, but Stappleton, the agent in charge of handling the kidnapping, grabs the phone from him. Frank tries to get Stappleton to go after the boats Gianni and his men are in but Stappleton is tracking Frank’s position to arrest him so Frank leaves the phone at the harbor and drives off. Frank grabs a spare phone from his glove compartment and contacts Traconi, telling him to get out of the house but the U.S. Marshals show up and arrest him. Frank then calls Audrey, who says it is someone else when Jefferson and Stappleton look at her. Frank tells her that he isn’t involved and Audrey says she believes him, as she saw Lola’s guns pointed at him and Jack, and Frank says that there is something more than a ransom involved here and intends to find out. Frank makes his way back to the doctor’s office and copies the security footage to get a picture of Dimitri’s face. He then heads into the exam room to get the syringe but he is confronted by some police, and the syringe is broken during the fight. After subduing the men, Frank grabs an empty syringe and some water, then leaves the office. Frank then calls Traconi, who has been befriending the Marshals by cooking for them, and sends him the image of Dimitri, asking him to find out information on him. Traconi gives him Dimitri’s address and Frank heads there, catching up to Dimitri as he is trying to leave. Dimitri shoots at Frank and then runs away, with Frank chasing after him. As Dimitri manages to get away and jump onto the back of a bus, Frank follows him on a jet ski, jumping the jet ski up onto the overpass so he can get onto the bus as well. Frank grabs Dimitri and asks him about the shot, then injects him with the syringe. Dimitri panics and runs from the bus and Frank follows him. Meanwhile, Jefferson makes the ransom drop off and after several hours pass, Stappleton’s men locate Jack and Jefferson and Audrey acompany him to retrieve their son. Meanwhile, Frank follows Dimitri to the secret lab, where he demands that he be given the antidote. After Frank deals with the guards, Frank enters the lab and tells Dimitir he isn’t sick, just before he kills him, then confronts the lead scientist for the antidote, asking what the virus does. The scientist tells him, then throws the two vials of antidote out the window, forcking Frank to jump out to catch them. One of the vials breaks but Frank manages to save the other one and heads back to the Billings house. Sneaking in, he contacts Audrey and tells her about the virus, then injects Jack with the antidote so he will be safe. Frank tells Audrey to warn Jefferson that he is infected and meant to infect everyone at the conference he is speaking at, then makes his way past the Marshals to leave the house. Audrey tries calling Jefferson but the call breaks up due to his being brought in underneath the building and later, both Jefferson and Audrey collapse and are rushed to a hospital. Frank contacts Traconi, who is still at the Marshal’s office, and asks him for information on Gianni and Traconi is able to find the information but after giving it to Frank, he is caught using the computer. Meanwhile, Gianni watches the conference and sees Jefferson speaking at it, realizing his plan has worked. He then has the antidote injected into himself as a means of keeping it safe and making him invaluable to those that might try to kill him. Frank enters Gianni’s house and fights his way through all of his guards before confronting Gianni. Frank says he figured out everything but Gianni’s involvement and Gianni explains that he was hired by the drug cartels to take out Jefferson and the heads of the various anti-drug organizations. Gianni then explains that he has the antidote inside his blood stream just before Lola attacks Frank, allowing Gianni to escape. Frank ends up killing Lola, then jumps into Gianni’s Lamborghini to head to the airport to stop Gianni. Frank arrives at the airport just as Gianni is boarding his private and he races up to the plane and manages to jump onto the front landing gear before it takes off. Making his way inside the plane, Frank kills the copilot, then confronts Gianni, who attempts to shoot Frank but hits the pilot instead. Frank and Gianni end up fighting on the plane as it flies out of control before it crashes into the ocean. As the plane starts to sink, Gianni attempts to strangle Frank but Frank manages to get free then paralyzes Gianni before slipping a life vest on him and making his way to the surface, where they are picked up by a rescue boat. Some time later, Frank is at the hospital and looks into the Billings’ room, where he sees Jack playing the game with Audrey and Jefferson and realizes that they are doing fine and leaves without heading inside. Frank then takes Traconi to the airport and says goodbye to his friend before heading back to his car, where he receives a call from someone looking for a transporter.
Transporter 2 met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, ” A stylish and more focused sequel to The Transporter, the movie is over-the-top fun for fans of the first movie.” The studio was unsure about making a follow up to The Transporter but when it was released on DVD, it showed strong enough DVD sales to warrant green-lighting a sequel. The movie fared better at the box office than it’s predecessor, earning $85.2 million off of a $32 million budget.
Some over the top action can be all you need to make an entertaining movie, and that is just what this movie delivers. The acting was good, with Jason Statham and Francois Berleand doing a good job reprising their respective roles of Frank and Traconi. Hunter Clary (Jack) and Amber Valletta (Audrey) were pretty good but I thought Matthew Modine (Jefferson) was kind of an ass, which admittedly is what he was supposed to come across as. Alessandro Gassman (Gianni), Kate Nauta (Lola), and Jason Flemyng (Dimitri) were all effective playing the bad guys and I liked Keith David as Marshal Stappleton, as he fit the profile great. The story was an improvement over the original, as it was definitely more streamlined and too the point instead of taking forever to get to the heart of the matter. The action scenes were just as good as the original while some of the fights were an improvement. The fight scene with Frank using the fire hose was pretty impressive, and funny, while I enjoyed his fight with the big bodyguard in the lab, as it showed him actually getting his butt handed to him for a good portion of the fight before he was able to actually win, and the aspect of him able to get the upper hand by taking the fight into a docked boat, where the bodyguard’s size wouldn’t be a factor. A fun movie that is a great follow up and worth watching for that mindless action fix.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5