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DVD set containing the first three films
Robert Mark Kamen
|Films and television|
Transporter is a French film franchise, comprising three films released between 2002 and 2008, with a fourth one set to be released in 2015, and a television series. Jason Statham plays Frank Martin in the first three movies, a professional freelance courier driver for hire. Statham himself is an accomplished martial artist, allowing him to do all the combat scenes involving Frank Martin himself. This permits the films' signature Hong Kong-style fight scenes, choreographed by Corey Yuen. Chris Vance portrays Frank Martin in the television series and Ed Skrein portrays a younger Frank Martin in the fourth film.
Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is a highly skilled driver known only as "The Transporter." He will transport anything, no questions asked, always on time, and he is known as the best in the business. He strictly follows three rules when transporting: Rule Number 1: "Once the deal is made, it is final", Rule Number 2: "No names", and Rule Number 3: "Never open the package." Frank inadvertently breaks his own rule, opens the package and finds a bound and gagged woman.
Frank is working as the driver/chauffeur for a wealthy family, in the United States. Martin bonds with their young son, whom he drives to school every day. When the boy is kidnapped, Frank must again take action in order to protect his young "package" and his family. Eventually, Martin unravels a scheme involving biological weapons and the nefarious Gianni Chellini. Martin is forced to remove a bomb from the bottom of his car by executing an aerial corkscrew manoeuver underneath a crane. The crane catches the bomb and Martin escapes unharmed. Frank debuts the Audi A8 W12 in this film.
Inspector Tarconi plays an even more prominent role in this film. It is established that he and Frank are now friends, and Tarconi goes as far as to lie to the police to cover for Frank. His cooking prowess is established as well.
Frank has been pressured into transporting Valentina (Natalya Rudakova) the kidnapped daughter of Leonid Vasilev (Jeroen Krabbé), the head of the Environmental Protection Agency for Ukraine, from Marseille through Stuttgart and Budapest until he ends up in Odessa on the Black Sea. Along the way, with the help of Inspector Tarconi (François Berléand), Frank has to contend with the people who strong armed him to take the job, agents sent by Vasilev to intercept him, and the general non-cooperation of his passenger, whom he realises is the package mid-way through the film. Despite Valentina's cynical disposition and Frank's resistance to get involved, Frank and Valentina fall for each other, while escaping from one life-threatening situation after another. Martin again drives an armoured Audi A8 W12 in the film, as well as a BMX bicycle.
The Transporter Refueled
In May 2013, at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, a new prequel trilogy was announced with EuropaCorp and China's Fundamental Films co-producing and distributing the titles. The films will likely be budgeted between $30 million to $40 million each and at least one will be shot in China. Luc Besson will co-finance, distribute, produce and write all the films. English actor Ed Skrein will replace Jason Statham as Frank Martin on the fourth installment of the series. The fourth film, The Transporter Refueled, is scheduled to be released on 4 September 2015 with Camille Delamarre directing.
Transporter: The Series
Transporter: The Series is a television series based on the Transporter films which premiered in 2012 on 11 October in Germany on RTL, and on 6 December in France on M6. Chris Vance takes over the role of Frank from Jason Statham and is joined by Hungarian actress Andrea Osvárt, who plays the leading female role in the series, starring as a former CIA agent and love interest for Frank, who organises his missions, and French actor François Berléand, the only returning actor from the film series, who reprises his role as Inspector Tarconi. The show was initially supposed to premiere on the cable network Cinemax but Cinemax pulled out due to production problems. TNT has recently picked up the show and will air the 12-episode first season on the TNT network. TNT also ordered a 12-episode second season which aired in the autumn of 2014.
Cast and characters
|The Transporter||Transporter 2||Transporter 3||The Transporter Refueled||Transporter: The Series|
|Frank Martin||Jason Statham||Ed Skrein||Chris Vance|
|Inspector Marcelle Tarconi||François Berléand||François Berléand|
|Lai Kwai||Shu Qi|
|Darren "Wall Street" Bettencourt||Matt Schulze|
|Mr. Kwai||Ric Young|
|Gianni Chellini||Alessandro Gassman|
|Audrey Billings||Amber Valletta|
|Jack Billings||Hunter Clary|
|Valentina Vasileva||Natalya Rudakova|
|Leonid Tomilenko||Jeroen Krabbé|
|Leonid's Aide||Alex Kobold|
|Malcom Manville||David Atrakchi|
|Leo Imasov||Lenn Kudrjawizki|
|Stanislav Turgin||Anatole Taubman|
|Carla Valeri||Andrea Osvárt|
|Juliette Dubois||Delphine Chanéac|
|Dieter Hausmann||Charly Hübner|
|Caterina Boldieu||Violante Placido|
Frank Martin is the protagonist of the films and television series. He initially serves as a reluctant hero. He is portrayed as a former Special Forces operative who was a team leader of a search and destroy unit. His military background includes operations "in and out of" Lebanon, Syria and Sudan. He retires from this after becoming fatigued and disenchanted with his superior officers. In simple terms, he got tired of seeing his best efforts turned to nothing by the same people paying him to do the job. So he puts his skills to action as a private driver for hire.
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||Box office ranking||Budget||Ref(s)|
|North America||Other territories||Worldwide||All time
|The Transporter||11 October 2002||$25,296,447||$18,632,485||$43,928,932||No. 2,619||$21 million|||
|Transporter 2||2 September 2005||$43,095,856||$42,071,783||$85,167,639||No. 1,673||$32 million|||
|Transporter 3||26 November 2008||$31,715,062||$77,264,487||$108,979,549||No. 2,246||$30 million|||
Critical and public response
|The Transporter||53% (125 reviews)||51 (27 reviews)||B+|
|Transporter 2||51% (119 reviews)||56 (29 reviews)||B+|
|Transporter 3||37% (111 reviews)||51 (26 reviews)||B-|
- "'Transporter' sequels announced at Cannes Film Festival". digitalspy.co.uk. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Cannes 2013: Three New Films In The Transporter Franchise Announced". empireonline.com. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "New Transporter trilogy bound for big screen with parts 4 5 and 6 announced". metro.co.uk. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Sequel Bits: ‘Transformers 4’, ‘Expendables 3’, ‘Transporter 4-6’, ‘The Hobbit’, ‘Anchorman 2’, ‘Pacific Rim 2’". slashfilm.com. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Transporter 4 will star Ed Skrein in Jason Statham role". theguardian.com. 10 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- Andreeva, Nellie (20 May 2011). "Cinemax's 'Transporter' Series Casts Male & Female Leads". Deadline.com.
- Goldberg, Lesley (23 June 2011). "'Transporter': 'Lost's' Stephen Williams to Helm Pilot (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter (Los Angeles, California).
- Roxborough, Scott (8 April 2014). "MIPTV: 'Transporter' Series Reboot for TNT Heavy on Action". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "The Transporter (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Transporter 2 (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Transporter 3 (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Transporter Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "The Transporter (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "The Transporter Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- "Transporter 2 (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Transporter 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Transporter 3 (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Transporter 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- The Transporter at the Internet Movie Database
- Transporter 2 at the Internet Movie Database
- Transporter 3 at the Internet Movie Database
- Transporter: The Series at the Internet Movie Database
- The Original Transporter Movie Website