WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Frank Martin (Statham) is a retired Brit military man whose taken on a new career in the south of France. As a transporter, he carries various packages from point A to point B without asking any questions and with his own strict set of rules. Unfortunately for him, he eventually breaks one of these rules himself and gets involved with a girl (Qi) who reveals to him, a plot to smuggle Asian slaves through France. What follows is a mix of madness, chaos and non-stop action that will knock your smelly socks right off!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Jason Statham is one cool son of a bitch in more ways than one. Yes, he's a pretty cool guy himself, but he also manages to always pick cool characters to play to boot and he does it again here. Now in order not to start with any misconceptions, let me blurt out one of the most common disclaimers in the movie world and one of the most disobeyed: this is not a realistic movie!! The things in this movie cannot, and will not happen. If you're planning on dissecting every single aspect of the "lack of reality" of what happens in this film, do not watch it: you will not enjoy it. If, on the other hand, you're looking forward to seeing things blow up, cars get chased and asses get kicked...then you've come to the right place since Hong Kong director Cory Yuen serves up a full menu of all of the above. Now, back to my close friend Jack Statham. Statham stars as a transporter here which obviously includes the usual slick-dude movie items: a car with gadgets, an isolated home with a weird elevator in which he lives alone and a nemesis of a cop (Berléand) who chases after him whilst being well aware that he's a good-hearted man.
The cause of all his troubles is a little Chinese hottie whom he "discovers" in the trunk of his car while making a delivery and a group of smugglers led by Matt Schulze and Ric Young. Neither Schulze nor Young will be getting any nominations for their work in here, but what the heck... they're Hong Kong bad guys, so it doesn't really matter. The real star of this movie though is the action itself. Asses get kicked in ways they haven't been before and Yuen manages to capture some pretty cool angles the whole way through. There's some obvious wire work in there as well, but it's not apparent enough to increase the cheese factor and the action remains realistic, if incredulous. Fights in houses, fights in garages, fights on top of/and inside moving trucks, car chases, plane chases, machine guns and rocket launchers. These are just a sampling of what you'll get in here, all well made, good fun and watched over by my main man Jason. Good times, I tell you... good times...
The Special Features sections starts off with a full length audio commentary by star Jason Statham and producer Steven Chasman. If you didn't think Statham was a cool guy before this track, then aside from being out of your mind, you may find something in there to turn you around. The two gents chat on about the film and how much fun it was to shoot, but they seem to be genuinely having a blast unlike many people who do these tracks who seem to "punch the clock" when they show up and check their watch once too often. Besides, Statham always has a fun comment to toss in. A decent track overall.
Next up is a set of three extended fight sequences that were edited for the final cut mainly due to objection over the high violence contents within. I personally don't get much out of watching a fight scene outside of the context of a film, but you have to appreciate Yuen's work in these untamed bouts. The three scenes are pretty wild and are available with optional commentary by Statham, Chasman and Yuen.
Following the above mayhem is a twelve-minute long making-of featurette containing comments from a good handful of the actors and filmmakers (including the delicious Shu Qi!). It doesn't really go very much in depth other than to show some on-set footage and stuff of the type. It's followed by the Theatrical Trailer.
"A fun time at the movies". That's what you would say if you saw this in theaters and the feeling is not lost if you bring this DVD home. The movie clocks in at 92 minutes and offers a lot of excitement and some cool looking shots. It definitely ranks in the "light entertainment" category, but does what it's intended to do quite well: kicks your ass for an hour and a half and then leave you alone for the rest of the day.