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The Transporter

The Transporter: Special Delivery Edition

In the studios’ endless search to suck every last dollar out of our pockets, the latest double-dip comes in the form of The Transporter, now available in a brand-new special delivery edition.

While a lot of newer versions offer nothing new at all save for a sneak peek at the film’s upcoming sequel, this edition actually features a new documentary, a storyboard-to-film comparison, and yes, a sneak peek at The Transporter 2.

All the extras from the old release are here, and the video transfer doesn’t appear to have been updated (not that it needed to be), but we also get a new dts 5.1 audio track. Surrounds are plentiful, separation is excellent, and the subwoofer rumbles nicely at every explosion.

The new 35-minute making-of documentary is pretty standard. It takes us through the story of developing and filming the project, and features a schlock of interviews with the cast and crew. The storyboard-to-film comparison is also fairly standard, and therefore not really that stimulating. The 8-minute “Inside Look” at The Transporter 2 manages to counter any excitement you felt after watching the trailer (fortunately, we watched the trailer again afterwards).

The Transporter, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
92 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital & dts 5.1
Starring Jason Statham, Shu Qi, Francois Berleand, Matt Schulze
Produced by Luc Besson & Steven Chasman
Written by Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen, directed by Cory Yuen

Here's our review of the original DVD:

Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is the world’s best transporter. He’ll do the job – no questions asked – as long as everyone obeys the rules.

We pick up right in the middle of a job. He’s picking up a few bank robbers (or something similar), but they’ve broken one of the rules. The deal was for four men – not five – and Frank refuses to move unless the problem is rectified, even if it means getting picked up by the police.

However, once the bank robbers fix the problem they’ve created, we learn just how good at his job Frank really is. Thus ensues the best car chase sequence since Ronin, although we have to suspend our disbelief a few more times in this case.

On Frank’s next job, he accidentally breaks one of his own rules: never open the package. He gets a flat tire and has to get his spare from the trunk. He can’t help but notice that this latest package seems to be moving. And when he gets it to its destination, the bad guys know he’s peeked, and try to kill him. So Frank spends the rest of the movie trying to kill the guys who tried to kill him.

The Transporter is not a good movie by any standards. But it is very entertaining in a B-movie kind of way, and there are many worse ways to spend an hour and a half. It’s filled to the brim with hardcore action and cheesy B-movie action hero one-liners.

And that’s the fun of it!

Statham is a worthy action hero, and could probably pull off James Bond if he didn’t look more tough than suave. He has the look and the moves to make it in this kind of movie. Director Cory Yuen, who made a name for himself as a fight choreographer, does exactly what is needed here. He focuses on the action rather than the story, since anyone watching this movie for long won't be concerned with the plot (and if they are, they shouldn’t be watching it in the first place).

The Transporter may not be Oscar-caliber entertainment, but it delivers exactly what is promised, and you can never complain about that.

A very high recommendation for action movie fans.

Whether or not the movie was a hit is debatable. It made well over $30 million at the North American box office, but probably only had a budget of $20 million or slightly more. Regardless, Fox has provided a very nice little DVD.

The disc features 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and full screen versions on opposite sides (when will other studios realize that this is the way to do it?!), and the picture is very nice. Colors are rich, fleshtones are accurate, and overall it’s about as crisp as you could ask for. There is also a very well done 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track to go along with it.

This is the kind of movie that cries out for a good surround system, and you won’t be disappointed. There are machine guns and explosions galore, and you can hear everything all around you, as if you were in the middle of the action. Dialogue comes from the front (not like you need to hear what they’re saying anyway), and the score often manages to come from the surrounds as well. This is an excellent audio track that overshadows even the impressive picture.

Extras include an audio commentary by Jason Statham and producer Steven Chasman, a short making-of featurette, the trailer, and 15 minutes of “unrated, never-before-seen extended fight sequences.” In reality, they’re just extensions of currently existing scenes, with more violence than is in the actual feature.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that...

It’s nice to see these scenes in the manner they were originally meant to be, even if the end result is pretty much the same. They wouldn’t have added or subtracted anything from the quality of the movie, so it’s nice to just have them here as a special feature.

Yet another fine DVD from Fox, and a thoroughly entertaining movie.

The Transporter, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
92 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) 16X9 enhanced, 1.33:1, 5.1 Dolby Digital
Starring Jason Statham, Shu Qi, Francois Berleand, Matt Schulze
Produced by Luc Besson & Steven Chasman
Written by Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
Directed by Cory Yuen


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