Back in 2002, the relatively lesser know Jason Statham drove a big car in a French action film carrying packages from one place to another. They called him the Transporter. The movie barely earned $42 million at the global box-office on a production budget of $21 million, which means that it would not have even achieved break-even. That should have been the end of it. But someone saw the potential of creating something more out of the Transporter. And that is how we ended with two sequels as well as a TV series, making the main character, Frank Martin, a beloved name among action-movie lovers.
We now have a reboot releasing over the weekend as Ed Skrein takes over from Jason Statham to play the lead role in The Transporter Refueled. It is going to be a tough task to replicate the coolness and swagger which Jason Statham brought to the character; his one-liners were always brilliant to hear and the action sequences were amazing to watch. There was a certain kind of personality that Statham gave to Frank Martin which made us root for the latter despite never seeing him as the underdog in the fight. Statham has of course grown into one of the biggest action stars of Hollywood of the past decade, and these three great clips from the Transporter series tell us why.
The Transporter (2002)
The opening scene of the movie gives more than a fair glimpse of what the film-makers have in store for us. A well-dressed & focused Frank Martin in a speeding car eluding the authorities in a long chase sequence. That’s the kind of beginning which sets the right tone for a action-thriller fun movie that isn’t afraid to go over-the-top with its moves.
Transporter 2 (2005)
The sequel carried on the ‘fun’ quotient from the original movie with the stunts getting wilder now. There is a particular ‘hose fight’ scene which is so ridiculous that it is eye-catching. The entire action sequence has been beautifully choreographed as Jason Statham goes about his usual business of knocking out the bad guys, this time with the help of a hose. See it to believe it.
Transporter 3 (2008)
Bad Guy: “You have ten seconds to change your mind.”
Frank Martin: “I’ll give you five seconds to remove your hand.”
Those are the kind of witty replies which make Frank Martin such a hero. The fight scene which followed was great to watch as Frank Martin gave the bad guys a thrashing without getting his suit messed up. But the fight scene in Transporter 3 which was more elaborate and enjoyable was the one where Martin takes on a whole army of goons in a garage. It is once more innovative and thrilling despite the known conclusion of the fight. And the final gesture with the rose. Ahh, typical Frank!