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Legacy Review

Transporter 2 (2005)

Imagine you are a seventeen year-old boy. One burden-free summer day, you and your buddies get hopped up on Dr Pepper. The sun is shining. It’s the golden era of your youth. You’ll never be more receptive to art and life, and so you buy a matinee ticket at the local cinema. You decide to see Transporter 2, sequel to a dumb Jason Statham action flick.

Reader, that boy was me, seventeen years ago, and that outing ended up being my favorite movie-going experience of my entire life. I laughed until I couldn’t breathe. I cheered. I adored every frame of this movie. All this time later, I still do.

Transporter 2 wastes no time shedding the skin of its precursor, immediately mocking the original’s obsession with Jason Statham’s — the transporter’s — list of rules and amping up the frequency and inanity of the quips.

Pretty much everything is more polished and fun than the original this time around. We get a villain with legitimate malice. But its his slinky, S&M-themed right-hand-woman played by Kate Nauta who leaves a real impression. (It’s a shame her death is so abrupt and haphazard.)

Mainly, the movie focuses on over-the-top, prop-themed action segments, with no use for silly things like “plot.” There’s a great bit involving watermelons as boxing gloves and a mini-masterpiece built around a firehose. A couple of the car stunts are so brazenly ridiculous that I gasped in delight at the audacity. Statham plays chisel-jawed Superman to deadpan perfection.

There are a few too many perfunctory bits for this to ever verge into masterpiece territory (though my heart pleads the opposite). A plot thread about an antidote to a plague basically vanishes. And, yeah… it’s all pretty dumb.

But Transporter 2 is, to me, as an outstanding specimen of cinema, perfect for a junior in high school. I refuse to use the term “guilty pleasure” because seventeen-year-old me felt no guilt in enjoying this. Nor do I today.

Is It Good?

Very Good (6/8)

Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.


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