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Transporter II : The Mission – Special Steelbook Edition 
Written by: on March 3rd, 2006

Theatrical Release Date: France, 2005
Director: Louis Leterrier
Cast: Jason Statham, Alessandro Gassman, Amber Valletta, Matthew Modine, Keith David, Kate Nauta, Francois Berleand, Jason Flemyng and Hunter Clary.

DVD released: February 2006
Approximate running time: 85mins
Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1 Anamorphic
Rating: NR
Sound: German and English 5.1 EX and DTS 6.1 ES Discrete.
DVD Release: Universum Film
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: £11.99

Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is back, but not in Southern France (via Tom Cruise in “Collateral”) where we left him, but in Miami helping out a top US official (Matthew Modine) and his beautiful wife Audrey (Amber Valetta) as a favour to a friend. All he has to do is chauffeur around their son Jack (Hunter Clary) to and from school everyday, surely not too taxing for our man Frank. However trouble is not far away as Gianni (a totally over the top Alessandro Gassman, son of Vittorio Gassman, one of Italy’s most respected actors), an Italian drug lord has decided to eradicate members of the US government via a deadly airborne toxin. Using his sexy sidekick Lola (Kate Nauta) they kidnap Jack and administer the toxin unbeknownst to Frank, who does his best to stop them by kicking all sorts of ass. Unfortunately the authorities think than Frank was in on the deal because of his Special Forces background and he is now suspect number one. Frank wants to clear his name but most of all he wants to get Jack back to his parents, but he will he find out about the virus in time.

Now I know what you’re thinking, Transporter 2, it’s just a dumb action flick, right? Well that’s true to an extent but that’s the reason it also succeeds, it does not pretend to be anything else and it was one the most purely enjoyable action films I’ve seen in years. It has everything an action movie requires, a wisecracking hero, car chases, hot women, big guns, hot women with big guns, a foreign bad guy and a ridiculous plot. Another reason it works is Jason Statham as Frank, he is one cool cat always ready with a kick or a quip. He also knows his martial arts as the fight scenes choreographed by the great Corey Yuen are excellent; look out in particular for the many uses Frank finds for a fire hose. Alessandro Gassman as Gianni is also pretty good in his role despite what he has been given to work with and he plays the quintessential foreign bad guy. Sure the dialogue is ropey as is some of the acting but that’s not what’s important here. Of the other performances it would have been nice to have had Matthew Modine and Keith David do a little more but that is made up by the amiable Francois Berleand as Inspector Tarconi over visiting Frank and Kate Nauta as Lola who makes a lethal debut on high heels and suspenders with added automatic weapons! Louis Letterier covers up any dodgy moments with some excellent set-pieces; the jet-ski chase and Franks bomb disposal method in particular comes to mind as well as the many fight scenes. Although it was filmed in the US it’s a totally European production and that Euro-style (trash?) is evident all the way through. If you want a fun, fun, fun action movie that is a real cut above then look no further. Recommended!

The DVD:

As you would expect from a recent release image quality is very good with strong vivid colours and a really sharp picture. There is very little grain on show and flesh tones, Lola’s in particular are delicious.

Now to the audio and the main reason I picked up this German release over all the others: DTS-ES! I don’t think my speakers have recovered yet. This is what home cinema was invented for and Transporter 2 is now a DTS reference disc for me. Bullets ping from side to side and explosions just fill the room, a total aural delight. Dialogue is nice and clear and it’s always easy to follow what is being said. 10 out of 10 and a gold star! There are also German HoH subtitles and normal English subtitles.

Extras are pretty good as well beginning with cast and crew interviews including Jason Statham, Amber Valletta, Kate Nauta, Francois Berleand, Hunter Clary and producer Steve Chasman.

Next are the “Making of: Transporter: The Mission” (22mins) and Making of: The Music” (10mins). Both quite interesting but generally run of the mill.

A gag reel (9mins) is next and it is actually pretty funny with Flemyng and Statham especially cracking up on set.

A behind the scenes (23mins) (Hinter den kulissen) piece is next for those curious to see the film making process in action.

The disc is rounded off with the German Trailer and 2 TV Spots.

From the main menu you can also access Trailershow with German trailers for “The Transporter”, “Rounders”, “Appleseed” (English audio), “Sahara”, “Elektra” and “Erkan & Stefan: Der tod kommt krass”

This is the German Special Steelbook Edition with 4 colour photo cards included.

Everything an action movie should, big, dumb and ridiculously entertaining. Check it out!

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