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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the film includes incessant violence, at high speeds and in slow motion, both emphasizing the excruciating pain inflicted by professional killers. Characters swear, smoke, drink, and use drugs. Women are portrayed in negative sexual stereotypes. One appears drunk as she tries to seduce the hero and others wear very skimpy clothing (one assassin prefers lingerie for her missions). The film includes lots of explosions, car crashes, and a violent airplane crash into water.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In this sequel, "professional driver" Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is in Miami, and is hired to drive adorable Jack (Hunter Clary), whose parents work for the U.S. narcotics agency. Frank takes action when Jack is kidnapped by villains who mean to infect whim with a virus that he'll then transmit by breathing on his dad, and dad will then transmit by breathing all over a conference full of international drug czars. The kidnappers include slickly sinister Gianni (Alessandro Gassman) and his psycho girlfriend Lola ( Kate Nauta), who is prone to pulling large automatic weapons miraculously out of her lacy underwear. Frank resists them both with self-assured, often slow-motioned fighting skills, seeming especially disdainful of the sloppy thugs they send to bully him.
Is it any good?
Wild and nonsensical, Transporter 2 delivers a specific sort of pleasure, mostly by way of observing pain inflicted deftly. Like its clever and cheeky precursor, the sequel boasts elegant choreography by Corey Yuen and a crisp performance by Statham, even though his character remains defiantly undeveloped.
As producer Luc Besson has demonstrated in his broad array of action films (from Subway to The Fifth Element to Unleashed), the genre's point is style. Heroes and villains come and go (and are in the end interchangeable), but the look is forever. Frank is precise and resourceful, attentive to details. He keeps his promises, he's relentlessly neat. And he takes just-visible-enough delight in punishing the ugliness of others.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the moral code that Frank embodies so resolutely. How does Frank's precision represent a relative decency, compared to both the excessive villains and the crass cops? How does the family -- Jack and his parents -- represent the sort of domestic unit Frank both desires and will never have? How does their initial dysfunction lead to lessons on more attentive fatherhood and less reckless motherhood? Why are women portrayed the way they are? Parents of kids learning to drive might also point out the stunts are not to be imitated...and they also may want to address the correlation the movie makes between cars and men's worth.
- In theaters: September 2, 2005
- On DVD or streaming: January 10, 2006
- Cast: Alessandro Gassman, Amber Valletta, Jason Statham
- Director: Louis Leterrier
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 88 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: Violent action, sexual content, partial nudity, brief language