January 18, 2006

Transporter 2 (2005)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

87 mins. · PG 13
16x9 · 2.35:1

Format
DVD

Audio
English – DD 5.1 French
Spanish – DD Surround

Subtitles
English, Spanish

Extras
Deleted & Extended Scenes, Blooper Reel, Featurettes, Previews

Starring
Jason Statham, Alessandro Gassman, Amber Valletta, Kate Nauta

Review by
Murray Wasylnuk


Rating



(2005)

Arriving on DVD is the widely panned, somewhat disappointing sequel to 2002's "The Transporter" aptly titled "Transporter 2". I always felt that the first film started off in the right direction, but slowly lost my interest towards the end of the film with the whole human smuggling storyline. To me, it just didn't work with the overall tone of the film, therefore, I did not expect a lot with the sequel either. The setting of Saint-Tropez and Nice France provided a terrific backdrop and balance between the fully loaded action scenes. "Transporter 2" only shares the cool and collected main character Frank Martin (Jason Statham), slick car chases and wild action segments with its predecessor and nothing more.

This time around the story is set in Miami Florida, where Frank is working as a chauffeur. Driving a wealthy family's young son to school and back and to various appointments, etc. still doing things by his own set of stringent rules and keeping precise timing for his trips, life seems fairly stable in Frank's world. Enter a couple of baddies that kidnap the young boy to get to his father, who happens to be a government narcotics control policymaker. In doing so, the hired hit-men attempt to take him out of the picture, via a chemical weapon scheme so that giant drug cartels have one less hurdle in bringing their dope to the US market.

It seems a bit cliché, but setting the film in Miami, with the influence of a few all around corrupt individuals with a buffet of guns at their disposal, should have been a dead giveaway that I was soon to be subjected to another drug plotted film.

With Frank kicking into high gear to get his young passenger back safely to his family, while exposing the deceitful kidnappers, he faces his greatest challenge yet! A scantily clad hit-woman, who wears nothing more than a bra and panties paired with high heels and a little too much eye liner and also enjoys walking around Miami armed with fully automatic weaponry! How's that for originality? Awash with ultra choreographed car chases and unbelievable fight sequences, including the ever present police car pile up buffoonery, this dumber-downed action extravaganza might just serve as the guilty pleasure to end all guilty pleasures!

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment enhances the sleekness of the action by providing an ultra glossy transfer for "Transporter 2." Displaying slightly oversaturated color levels to provide some interesting "sun-drenched" visuals to deep rich blacks that exhibit every minor detail of Frank's recognizably indestructible Audi, the presentation is sure to please. Although the overall transfer is devoid of any dust or dirt particles, I did notice minor edge-enhancement that becomes evident ever-so-slightly around the outlines of cruise ships and boats floating in the ever-blue waters of the Miami harbor.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation is sure to fulfill action fans expectations as the bass levels are cranked to the max during bullet riddled scenes, which is basically throughout the entire 87 minute running time of the film. Vocals are deep, yet pleasingly natural in reproduction. The film's soundtrack manages to utilize all available channels by providing a terrific encompassing soundstage, one that might easily become a reference disc for showcasing your home theater set up to friends.

For added value materials there is a selection of deleted and extended scenes, totaling twenty or so minutes that are not really worth a second viewing. For the most part you understand why these scenes were either shortened or removed completely from the film's final presentation. The deleted footage is presented non-anamorphic, with a Dolby Digital 2.1 mix that is missing its final audio "polishing."

There are two behind the scenes featurettes; "Making of Transporter 2" and "Making of the Music", along with a blooper reel and previews section that features a sneak peek at the upcoming "X-Men 3".

Quite simply, if you are a fan of the original "Transporter" and have high hopes for this sequel, there is a really good chance that you are going to be disappointed. If you just want mindless action that provides totally unbelievable and physically impossible stunts then by all means take the DVD of "Transporter 2" for a test drive!

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