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The Transporter

Year: 2002
Director: Cory Yuen
Producer: Luc Besson
Cast: Jason Statham
After the ultra-cool turn in Snatch, it looked as though Jason Statham was better at playing cockney boxing promoters than choosing the right roles.

Ghosts of Mars, while not necessarily a bad film, damaged the street cred that seemed to be ingrained in him thanks to Guy Ritchie. And his woeful performance in The One looked like killing it off altogether.

Thanks to a chic European ultra-action production courtesy of Luc Besson, he's regained much of that credibility.

Playing former solder Frank, Statham is a professional criminal driver, ferrying anything from robbery loot to people for wealthy clients. He works by a strict code to take the cash and not ask questions, lives a dream life in a stunning French Riviera location in the nicest house in recent movie history, and - as an ex-green beret type – can fight or drive out of any scrape.

When he breaks the rules and looks in one parcel – to find a young Chinese woman – it opens the can of worms he hoped his life would never be as his shifty employer promptly try to kill him.

Caught up in a people smuggling ring (the criminal mastermind career of choice for the 21st century), he has to outsmart the crims and a savvy police inspector who's been trying to nab him for ages and lead a one man army style commando raid to crack them open.

The plot isn't always straightforward – and some of the early mysteries established in the story aren't resolved very satisfactorily – but the action is king.

With more choreography than a major ballet, the fight scenes and chase sequences are spectacularly over the top and satisfying.

Statham looks fantastic, has a heroic presence, and if he can only keep this up, he'll deserve major stardom.

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