Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Directed by Boaz Yakin.
2012. Rated R, 95 minutes.

Catherine Chan
Robert John Burke
Reggie Lee
Danny Hoch
Anson Mount
Sándor Técsy
Joseph Sikora
Igor Jijikine
James Colby

There’s a tween-aged girl name Mei (Chan) who quite literally has a mind like a computer. Not only is she a math genius on a level beyond comprehension, she has the ability to look at large amounts of data and memorize it in seconds. What’s more, anything she commits to memory is never forgotten. It just so happens that she has an uncle in the gangster business that finds out about her skills and wants to put them to good use. He yanks the girl out of school in Hong Kong, threatens to kill her mother (!) if she doesn’t cooperate and ships her off to New York to help with his organization. Basically, she’s to keep the books in head, eliminating any paper trails. Eventually, she’s made to memorize a rather long number that the rival Russian mafia also wants to get their hands on. The Russians kidnap the girl and she somehow manages to escape. Now both gangs plus every dirty cop in the city is hunting for her.

This where Luke (Statham) comes in. He’s an MMA fighter who accidentally wins a fight he was supposed to have thrown. As punishment, those pesky Russian mobsters kill his wife and plan to make him spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder. While contemplating whether or not he should step in front of a speeding subway train, he notices Mei being chased by the same guys who killed his lady and decides to help out, suddenly turning into The Transporter.

Once again, Statham delivers the goods in the action department. He beats up and/or kills multiple bad guys in a string of fun, brutal action sequences. Though over the top, they’re still nowhere near the level of ridiculousness of those Transporter flicks I alluded to or his Crank movies. This gives things a grittier feel, removing the tongue-in-cheek aspect of both of those franchises. Still, our hero gives us just enough of his trademark humor to keep things from getting too serious.

The story surrounding the action also holds together pretty well. The girl’s predicament and the way law enforcement figures into this is all fairly intriguing. It’s not a perfect movie, by any means, but we get enough twists to keep us on our toes. We also wind up in some interesting places. On the downside there are a number of plot holes. Most troublesome of these is we’re never sure of the truth concerning Mei’s mother. Regardless, its drawbacks aren’t enough to make it a bad watch. If you’re into action flicks, this is a pretty good one with better plot than many.

MY SCORE: 6.5/10

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