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Review: Transporter 2
Was over at a friend's place a few days ago, who's a bit of a movie buff. Actually, a "spend lots of money on DVDs buff" would be more accurate :) The latest addition was "Transporter" and I was offered to stay and watch it. Wasn't a particually deep movie, but it was enjoyable, and the characters were very likable. So... good value.

Transporter 2 came out recently, and a bunch of us went to see it. To put it succinctly, it was bad. Really bad. So bad that it's got me off my butt to create a journal entry about it, just so I can share how really bad it was on the hope that it will make it less bad.

But first, the good bits:

The fight scenes were okay, and interesting. Two of the likable characters from the first movie returned. Had some nice car chases. Umm... well, that was pretty short.

But the bad... oh my. No, it wasn't the acting (which was decent), nor the light plot (it was as light as the first), but the screen play was atrocious, in terms of realism. Yes, almost all movies have 'stupidities', and you have to suspend a little belief. Other Luc Besson movies, for example Fifth Element, you needed to do this, but... it was kinda fun and they didn't do THAT bad of a job of the realism. Even trasnporter (one) was very believable. Transporter 2 was HORRIBLE... the un-realism just kept on coming and coming and coming. All, ostebsibly, for the purposes of advancing the plot... but they could have done a MUCH better job:

So, as a cathartic exercise, I'm going to try and list as many of the stupidities as I can. These aren't really spoilers... because there's nothing I could do to make the movie any more horrible than it is:

- Frank (the main actor, and the 'driver' in both movies), drives a kid he's supposed to be looking after to a doctor. The doctor's parking lot is a near-empty underground garage. What doctor in his right mind would have such a horrible car-park. (Okay, this one is lame, but it gets better).

- The bad guys kill off the doctor and the receptionist and pose as them. The kid knows something's amiss. A GOOD bodyguard would INSTANTLY call the whole thing off (And this guy is supposed to have all sorts of military-trained extra senses) and get the hell out of there, but no. However, all sorts of other 'hints', many totally blatant, fail to tip off the main character that something's wrong. Eg: getting names confused, getting the reason that the doctor is sick confused, the 'doctor' saying "Trust me, I'm a doctor.". It's only a pool of blood pooling under a door that tips off Frank.

- Most of the driving is pretty cool - after all, that's what the movie is about - but some of it is totally silly. Frank drives around a carpark, and to escape a chase, he drives through the safety wall (without damaging the car much), leaps across the gap (quite high up) to the next-door parking lot, and magically manages to land in between floors, rather than INTO a floor.

- More car stupidity: Driver dislodges a bomb under his car by launching himself up a ramp, spinning it, and using a dangling crane hook to knock off the bomb. Car lands perfectly.

- Most fight scenes are cool, but there are too many where the bad guy, or good guy, don't shoot fast enough, or from far away enough, before they get into melee with fists and feet.

- A bunch of bad guys run out of ammo, all at the same time, preventing anyone from using a gun during a multi-person combat.

- A wooden door is sufficient to stop high-velocity automatic arms fire.

- A CAR DOOR is sufficient to stop assult rifle fire. Actually, no, the car door gets perforated, but apparently the upholstery is enough, because people inside the shot up car survive. Remember, don't skimp on the good upholstery when you buy your new car... you never know when you'll need it! (No, it isn't the driver's car, which might have given the opportunity to say 'carbon fibre upholstery').

- Cops, pointing their guns at a armed target, can't release a single shot before the target reloads, turns, aims and fires, killing 2 cops.

- The bad guy decides to inject himself with all the remaining antidote of a virus he's just released, rather than destroying it, as if that will help 'store' it.

- Cars on a road don't make ANY attempt to slow down or avoid a man wandering over a road (who had just lept out of a building trying to rescue thrown vials of antidote).

- Frank makes NO attempt to contact authorities to warn them that a particular important person is infected with a virus - one who is just about to go to a conference and help kill a bunch of important people by inadvertently spreading the virus.

- A car chases after a business jet on take-off. THe jet maintains a nice steady pace, rather than accelerating at the 0.8 G we've all experienced. (Okay, this is fairly common for movies, but annoying nevertheless)

- The pilot, with copilot already out of his seat and incapacitated, decides it's a GOOD idea to get out of his seat to assist in a ruckus in the cabin.

- The jet careening out of control (the pilot was shot) hits the water and DOESNT disappear into tiny little pieces. In fact, the occupants - Frank and the uber bad guy - dont even get launched forward at all. It's as if the plane was gently slowed down, then PLACED into the water.

okay... that's about all I could come up with while I'm still awake tonight. I'm sure I'll think of a bunch more later :)

Summary: Don't see this movie. Sure, maybe get it on DVD, or wait till it hits the networks... it does have SOME redeeming value. But... we must not reward this kind of crappy screenwriting. Someone needs to slap Luc Besson upside the head. Even if he didn't write much of this (it was co-written, and we all know what that means), Luc needs to be reminded to NOt let his characters, or name, be attached to such crap.

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Movie stupidity is one of my biggest peeves

I laugh as I read this... but I know that if I'd actually seen the movie, I'd be chewing the furniture in an attempt not to scream.

Re: Movie stupidity is one of my biggest peeves

Thanks for the review, I was actually going to see this because the first one was pretty cool. But wow, this sounds like something which would be more suited for comedy. (The best movie I saw this summer was Herbie...) From the incredible events you described here I was reminded of Super Dave Osbourne's 'bullet-proof' paint stunt where he sits in a car which is shot up by machine gun fire. Except in Super Dave's case the bullet-proof paint doesn't work.

As far as the summer block-busters goes the absolute dumbest movie I saw this year was Stealth. And not for the cheesy Saturday-morning special effects, but because the characters' mannerisms and lines were so bad I got the 'giggle-snorts'(tm) in such a huge way I literally couldn't stop from laughing out as loud as I could. I was like almost on the floor I was laughing so hard when the chick pilot was falling through the air. Everyone was staring at me, but there I was just howling like it was Red Dwarf or something. It was so bad it was funny. Plus the fact the whole movie was a much-needed recruiting ad for the Yanks didn't help much. I know that they make slight changes to movies in respect to where they're shown but regardless, from what I saw in Taiwan, many parts of Stealth were so embarrassing to Asia it just caused many uncomfortable moments of silence. That is if I wasn't laughing so much. I'm pretty fat so everyone thinks I'm American which probably made it worse.

I knew Stealth would suck but I mis-read my ticket and missed Batman Begins by an hour. They gave me a new ticket for Stealth but at least I got to ask them 'Batman's began?', which I thought in itself was somewhat funny...

Anyhow, back on topic. I won't go and see Transporter 2 but I can say that The Brothers Grim is worth seeing. Like Terry Gilliam would do us wrong eh?

PS: From The Brothers Grim I noticed many furry fetishes. I should make a list...

Re: Movie stupidity is one of my biggest peeves

I saw Stealth a few weeks ago. Yeah, it was pretty cheesy, but I liked it. But no where near as badly scripted as Transporter 2.

The first one was pretty cool, yes. The second one just plain sucks.

Now... if you and some friends can go in intending to try and find as many mistakes, plot holes and stupidities as possible (perhaps on a cheap matinee ticket), then it MIGHT be worth it :)

I don't think anyone expects a sequal to be as good as the first. Transporter 2 didn't even come CLOSE. Think "Highlander 2" bad.

(Deleted comment)
They were probably thinking that the Transporter-dude would somehow become as timeless and likable as say James Bond or something. Or maybe they were just hoping... I don't really know what's going through their heads. I can only envision little thoughts with big dollar-signs in their eyes. Yeah I can't blame you for not liking the first one, I mean it was no Citizen Kane or anything but wow, how could a writer screw up with a storyline based on car chases? I like to think that with a premise like that the story itself doesn't even matter. You only need some clever directing and framing, like say George Miller's The Road Warrior to make it cool. It doesn't have to be outrageously impossible.

Ch'marr: If you say Transporter 2 has WORSE dialogue than Stealth then I HAVE to see it! I just might even have myself a cardiac arrest. And don't even get me started on Highlander 2 and the Planet Ziest! So many horrible thoughts. Mad Max 3... Now I'm thinking there could be a Stealth 2. We are the damned.

Oh, the dialog in Transpuker 2 was fine... just the screenwriting/plot was simply atrocious.

Off topic, but...the whole stupid VCL Horrors thing annoyed me so much that it prompted me to write a journal entry -



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