The Transporter

Release Date: October 11, 2002
Pushed back from September 13, 2002

You can call me Qi Shu or you can call me Hsu Qi or you can call me Shu Kei.

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The Transporter is a smaller-budget action film being shot in France. Like recent efforts such as Brotherhood of the Wolf and Kiss of the Dragon, this film will have a strongly European/Asian flavor to it, due in large part to the fact that it's written by Luc Besson, the legendary writer/director of The Professional, and directed by Corey Yuen. This will be the first time he has helmed an English-language film, but Yuen has directed dozens of Asian films. In addition, he is known to movie-rental audiences in the West for many of his efforts with Jet Li, the most famous being Jet Li's The Enforcer and The Legend I and II. Yuen also directed the stunt sequences for Kiss of the Dragon. The combination of writer and director brings an unusual amount of built-in credibility for the action genre.

The film itself stars Jason Statham, the wonderful actor from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Since the Guy Ritchie movies came out, Mr. Statham has been attempting to build up his resumé in the action genre through work in such films as John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars and The One (with stunt sequences again choreographed by Yuen). Both films were financial disappointments, but Statham was generally considered to be one of the highlights of each. His raspy voice and lean look make for a menacing (if somewhat slight) presence on-screen, and in the right role, I have full confidence he could be every bit as fascinating/entertaining as Jean Reno was in The Professional. Whether that translates to financial success is another matter, but with such a slight budget and clear-cut appeal on three continents, The Transporter need only be interesting in order to succeed to at least some degree.

The idea of The Transporter is that Statham is a courier who delivers packages. It is understood that people of his profession should never ask questions about the contents. You can pretty easily decipher what happens next, but for those of you who want me to do all the work, yes, Statham's character begins to wonder exactly what he's carrying. This immediately puts his life in danger as word spreads of his curiosity, and the rest of the film is a dangerous chase between him and an evil villain named Wallstreet (cool, eh?). The lead heel is played by Matt Schulze (Vince from Fast and the Furious), and the mysterious woman Statham meets along the journey is portrayed by the scintillating Qi Shu, a Hong Kong superstar who stole Jackie Chan's heart in Gorgeous. If you have seen that performance or any of her others, you know that she's reason alone to want to see this film. (David Mumpower/BOP)

September 5, 2002
What does it mean when your film gets dumped from the dumping ground? Fox has confirmed that they are bumping back the release of The Transporter from this upcoming weekend to October 11th. There's nothing wrong with changing your relase date, really, but there's got to be some fundamental problem when you move a film that's just one week away from release. All those advertising dollars you spent broadcasting the release date of September 13th don't get refunded, either. I can't see which of Stealing Harvard or Barbershop was frightening them, but if there ever was a case of "out of the frying pan and into the fire", this is it. October 11th is staked out like California in the Gold Rush, with seven (!) films already in place, including two that are in more-or-less direct competition, Knockaround Guys and The Tuxedo (perhaps not coincidentally, two films that have also done the Dance of the Release Dates). You have to think that someone is going to blink in the next month, or there's going to be a huge blood-bath come
Columbus Day weekend.

Vital statistics for The Transporter
Main Cast Jason Statham
Supporting Cast Qi Shu, Matt Schulze, Francois Berleand
Director Louis Leterrier, Corey Yuen
Screenwriter Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for The Transporter
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
One, The 11/2/0119.11 20.39 2894 6604.00 6779.3 43.91 46.86 2.30
Kiss of the Dragon 7/6/0113.30 14.19 2025 6570.00 6744.4 36.83 39.30 2.77
Musketeer, The 9/7/0110.31 11.00 2438 4230.00 4342.3 27.05 28.87 2.62
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 1/12/017.73 8.25 693 11154.00 11450.1 128.07 136.68 13.99
Iron Monkey 10/12/016.01 6.41 1225 4906.00 5036.2 14.68 15.66 2.44
Professional, The 11/18/945.31 7.84 1158 4585.00 6517.9 19.25 28.44 3.63
Legend of Drunken Master, The 10/20/003.85 4.30 1342 2869.00 3087.2 11.55 12.92 3.00
John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars 8/24/013.80 4.05 2048 1858.00 1907.3 8.44 9.00 2.22
Brotherhood of the Wolf 2/1/021.90 1.97 393 4845.00 4845.0 10.93 11.36 3.18



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