The Transporter (Rental) (2002)
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Louis Leterrier|
Twentieth Century Fox
Didier Saint Melin
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes, Occasional|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, Slightly (Pepsi)|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The Transporter is the epitome of the blokey popcorn movie. It has guns, rockets, fast cars, attractive women and more unbelievable action sequences and martial arts battles than you can shake a bottle of Old Spice at. It is shallow, formulaic and without any real artistic merit. The plot is so thin as to be transparent and the characters are all one-dimensional. I loved it.
The plot revolves around the dodgy dealings of a transporter - one Frank Martin (Jason Statham, most recognizable for his roles in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch). He picks up a package or a person at point A and then, in return for a wad of the folding stuff, and using his ninja BMW 735, drops it/them off at point B. Simple enough. Of course, our Frankie isn't employed by the Post Office, so his deliveries tend to involve what some people - like the police - might call illegal transactions.
To ensure that he never has a problem, Frank follows three simple rules: One - never change the deal, Two - never use names, Three - never open the package. On this occasion, Frank forgoes rule three...and opens the large, wriggling, person-shaped bag inside his trunk, to find a lively, lithe young woman named Lai (played by Shu Qi) inside.
Aiming to complete his assignment, Frank delivers Lai into the hands of Wall Street (Matt Schulze). After accepting a transporting job from Street, which results in his trusty Beemer exploding in a deafening fireball, Frank decides to go back and express his slight annoyance with the state of affairs. Needless to say, Mr Street does not welcome Frank's return visit and he soon falls foul of Street and his many, many expert martial-artist, gun-toting goons. Escaping to the sanctuary of his coastal house, Lai and Frank are subject to a rocket-attack from Street, which results in his house joining his Beemer in the afterlife. Determined to uncover the reasons behind the attempts on his life, the stage is set for the remainder of the movie. The plot evolves to uncover a story of people-smuggling, and the film moves swiftly from one action set-piece to the next, keeping up a ripping pace until the credits roll.
The dialogue is not very inventive, and there is little character development. Frank and Lai have the inevitable love-scene but this is not explored in any detail and doesn't really have much bearing on the rest of the film. The only real chemistry between characters is twixt Frank and the local French Detective Tarconi (Francois Berleand).
Some of the fight set-pieces are huge fun (oil wrestling anyone?), and there are some genuinely inventive gun battles and hand-to-hand combat scenes throughout the film. Jason Statham looks every inch the part, and his martial arts fights are exceptionally good. This movie should not be taken too seriously - indeed the handling of opening bank-robbery scene suggests to me that the movie was made with tongue firmly in cheek.
You will learn nothing from this movie.
It will not leave you pondering a deeper meaning.
It will not have you discussing the sub-text over a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
It will however, leave your head spinning, ears thumping and a wry blokey smile on your face.
The overall video transfer of this disc is very good with only a few problems noted.
The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 which is close to the original theatrical ratio of 2.39:1. It has been 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is usually razor sharp, particularly during outdoor scenes along the beautiful French Riviera coastline. However, at the start of chapter ten, when Frank returns to the house of Wall Street after his car has been destroyed, the camera switches from a sharp outdoor shot to the house interior. On several interior shots during this sequence, around 21:27, the markedly grainy appearance jars with the ultra-sharpness of the remainder of the film.
Blacks are solid with no low-level noise evident and shadow detail is good. Colours are natural and clean with no evidence of colour bleed.
The transfer is free from significant MPEG artefacts, although minor instances of pixelisation can sometimes be seen, for example on Lai's face at 42:33. Film-to-video artefacts are more common and the transfer does suffer from some noticeable edge enhancement, for instance on the house and actors at 42:13. There is occasionally minor aliasing, such as on the BMW chrome at 15:56.
I did not notice any film artefacts throughout the movie.
There is a single English for the hearing-impaired subtitle track present, and the subtitles are very true to the spoken dialogue (and incidental sound effects).
This is a single sided, single layer disc (DVD 5) so there is no layer change present.
The overall audio quality of this disc is outstanding and is of reference quality.
The solitary audio track is a kick-ass Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack in English recorded at 448 kbps.
Dialogue was sometimes unclear, but this was due to the heavy French accents rather than any defect in the recording process. Talking of accents, I wish Statham could decide which accent he was supposed to be using, alternating between an American and an English accent which was (for me) quite irritating.
The original music is credited to Stanley Clarke and it does an acceptable job throughout. The use of various forgettable techno/rap/house tunes with a distinct Euro twist adds to the overall hip feel of the movie and generally blends quite well with the on-screen action. Just to keep it interesting, there are some classical passages thrown into the mix.
The surround channels were massively active throughout, carrying a constant barrage of music, bass, and some excellent directional sound effects. Particularly noteworthy is the use to which they are put in the numerous car-chase and gunfight scenes for example the bullet effects at 27:35. This is one of the most immersive audio tracks I have yet heard on a DVD.
The subwoofer was almost never silent. As well as the bass-heavy soundtrack, there are some phenomenal explosion effects, for example: the bomb explosion at 26:59 and the rocket attack around 44:38. This a great movie with which to demonstrate the power of your subwoofer, and your 5.1 set-up in general.
|Surround Channel Use|
This is a rental disc and is a bare-bones version, with no real extras present.
The initial menu is a static photograph of the DVD cover against the 20th Century Fox logo. It offers the slim choice of language selection (allowing only subtitles to be switched on or off) or one of twenty eight chapter stops.
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 sell-through version of this DVD includes the following extras:
Hopefully the Region 4 disc will have the significant extras added before retail release.
The Transporter is an archetypal blokes movie. It is utterly mindless, violent, and corny fun. This movie has no artistic merit - it is purely and simply an all-out, full-on, no-holds-barred, action-fest. Watch it with no expectations of anything but tongue-in-cheek action and some d*** loud noises.
The video quality is very good indeed.
The audio quality is outstanding, and is of reference quality.
There are no extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX-47P500H 47" Widescreen RPTV. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||JensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer|