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File:Transporter 3331.jpg
Transportation is a precise business.


 Rule 1: The deal is the deal. The conditions of the deal will not be changed after it has been confirmed.

Rule 2: No names.

Rule 3: Never look in the package.


Jason Statham jumps through the air and shoots things!

The long version: The Transporter is 2002 action film starring Jason Statham as Frank Martin: a gruff, ex-military man who is in the "transporting" business. Give him the money, the measurements, and the time and he'll get you from A to B. Frank has a set of rules, one of which includes: "Never open the package". However, whilst transporting a large bag from a somewhat unsavory client, Frank discovers an Asian woman named Lai stuffed inside his cargo. He is visibly bothered by this and allows her the basic opportunities of food and bathroom time (during which she tries to escape) but ultimately ends up delivering her to the Bad Guys anyway. Because he looked in the package the bad guys try to kill him and from there, Hilarity Ensues.

The first film was a stylish (it was written by Luc Besson, after all), fast-paced action romp, directed and choreographed by another frequent Jet Li collaborator, Cory Yuen. The second and third movies dispensed with any pretensions of realism and are considerably more over the top. The series is notable for putting Statham on the map, as well as setting the template for pretty much all of his subsequent roles.

Nothing to do with Teleporters and Transporters.

These movies feature examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Lai's dad takes this to new levels, what with apparently trying to sell his daughter into slavery.
  • All There in the Manual: Wall Street's real name is Darren Bettencourt.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The director of the second movie has stated that Frank is gay, but it's only written in on the subtext level. Inspector Tarconi's description of his relationship with Frank makes them sound like a gay couple, and Frank turns down the advances of Audrey Billings, but that could just as easily be because she's tipsy, emotionally vulnerable, and married to his employer. It's also contradicted by the events of the other movies, where he sleeps with women and (in 3) says he's not gay.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Lola. You'd expect her to give a better fight but Frank dispatches her quite easily.
  • Asian Gal with White Guy: Lai gets it on with Frank — her way of saying thank you.
  • Ax Crazy: Lola.
  • Badass: Would be easier to list the characters who aren't.
  • Badass Driver: Frank.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Frank, Wall Street in the first movie.
  • Bad Boss / You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The 4 bank robbers at the beginning of the film are quietly reminded by the Transporter that the conditions to using his car as a getaway car is that there is to be 3 bank robbers due to their weight, which with an added body would counter the shock absorbers he has installed. So, one of the bank robbers shoots another in the head and tosses him out the door. And for added effect reiterates the deal in a desperate manner. They get caught anyway, but only some time after Frank has successfully evaded the police and delivered them to their drop-off point.
    • In 3 Johnson subverts the Affably Evil trope by shooting dead a mook who earlier had failed to 'recruit' Frank by force, and who interrupts his politely 'persuading' Frank to work for him.

 Johnson: Find someone smarter.

  • Bad Cop, Incompetent Cop
  • Bait and Switch: In the opening of Transporter 2 Frank carves through a gang of carjackers to get to a prior engagement. It looks like another bank job as in the beginning of the first movie only for the doors to open and a horde of schoolkids to run out. In the next movie the 'package' turns out to be the girl who's in the car with Frank, not the bags the villains put in the trunk.
  • Beard of Evil: Wall Street and one of his thugs (the sort-of Giant Mook) in the first movie.
  • Between My Legs: Psycho for Hire Lola gives us a good look at her red Combat Stilettos before using Guns Akimbo on the protagonist for the first time.
  • Big Bad: Lai's father in the first film, Chillini in the second.
    • Big Bad Duumvirate: Possibly. It's never made clear whether Lai's dad was Wall Street's boss or if the latter is The Dragon.
    • Bigger Bad: The Columbian cartels who foot Chillini's bill in the second film.
  • Blondes Are Evil: Lola
  • Blood Knight: Wall Street, who tells Frank to "keep alive" so they can finish their fight.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted in Transporter 2 when the mooks riddle Frank's car with bullets, then rush to get more ammunition which is locked in the garage. Unfortunately, so is Frank.
  • Bound and Gagged: Lai, the 'package' in the first movie.
  • Brick Joke: The bank robbers in the first movie offer Frank more money to take them the rest of the way. Frank refuses because it breaks Rule #1. Later he's watching a news report which shows the robbers were caught after driving the wrong way down a one-way street.
  • Bullet Dodge: Frank does this even without Matrix-style superpowers! (in 2 when the Russian biowarfare scientist shoots at him in the corridor).
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Half the villains border on this. It's part of the fun.
  • Car Chase: Spoofed in 3 when Frank chases a mook who's stolen his car with a bicycle. Played straight with the Ukrainian intelligence team.
  • Car Fu: Taken to ridiculous levels. He jumps on a ramp, makes a barrel roll so he could have the bomb under his car snatched by a crane's hook.
  • Car Skiing: In Transporter 3, Frank skis between two semi trucks during an escape sequence.
  • The Cartel: Chillini's employers in the second movie.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Lai's dad is a gangster and a "well-respected member of the business community". His partner, appears to be one as well.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Frank vs. Lola.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: A little upsetting, but ultimately predicted in 2. She was married.
    • Averted in '3. It looks like Frank has gone back to his lonely life with only Tarconi for company, but it turns out Valentina is also in the boat (sleeping out of sight).
  • Diegetic Switch: A stoned Valentina keeps turning on the stereo during the Car Chase.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Well, more like "Doesn't need guns". Most of the time.
  • The Dragon: Wall Street of all people turns out to be The Dragon to Lai's father in the first movie. Points to anyone who saw that coming. Also, Lola is The Dragon to Gianni Chillini in Transporter 2.
  • Dull Surprise: Frank Martin has two basic moods: beating people up while scowling, and driving really fast while scowling. Sometimes, for variety, he does it with his shirt off.
  • Equal Opportunity Evil: The various gangs and drug cartels seem very willing to hire people from all sorts of backgrounds.
    • Johnson, the Big Bad of 3, even suggests that Frank join his organisation after he thinks he's won. Nothing personal about being strapped to a bomb, ha-ha.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: First film, a stationary car is hit side-on by a car that's braking heavily and travelling slowly. Both burst into flames!
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Chillini
  • Explosive Leash: In the third movie Frank has a bracelet attached to his wrist that will explode if he gets more than 50 feet from the car. This causes problems when he's hunting down the Big Bad at the end; he has to bring the car with him. Even onto a moving train.
  • Fan Service: One in every film! Shu Qi in the first film (in a wet t-shirt and wet panties); Amber Valletta in the second (good lord, she practically asks Frank to look down her top in one scene!); Natalya Rudakova in the third (in a slinky gold lame dress for most of the film, not to mention the red hair and Youthful Freckles).
  • Friend on the Force: Inspector Tarconi
  • Giant Mook: One appears in all three movies:
    • Downplayed in the first film: One of the villains is an enormous guy complete with Beard of Evil, but is only mildly harder for Frank to defeat than the others.
    • The second movie has a Scary Black Man who's probably the hardest opponent Frank has to contend with.
    • Lampshaded in the third movie.

 Frank Martin: Let me guess. You're the smart one.

Enormous thug: No. I am the big one.

{{[[[Punched Across the Room]] Punches Frank across the room}}]

  • Guns Akimbo: As noted above, Lola, though memory seems to recall Frank doing this a couple of times. Just look at the poster (pictured above).
  • Hidden Badass: No one seems to expect a simple Transporter to be a Badass former Special Forces operative. And remember the slimy gangster, Wall Street, who tried to have Frank's car blown up at the start of the first movie? The one who's always surrounded by henchmen, and comes off as a sleazy businessman and Dirty Coward? Turns out he's the only guy in the movie capable of giving Frank a half-decent fight. And something of a Blood Knight, what with telling Frank to "keep alive" so they can finish their earlier, aborted fight.
  • I Gave My Word: In 2 Frank has a Rule #4 which is "Never make a promise you can't keep." He promises to protect his young charge; when the boy is kidnapped the Big Bad informs Frank he's going to have to break that rule. Fat chance.

 Jack: Frank, you promised you wouldn't let anybody hurt me! You promised!

Chillini: Never make promises you can't keep, my friend.

Frank: I don't.

  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Lola is impaled on a wall decoration about ten seconds after engaging Frank.
  • Improvised Weapon User: Light fixtures, fire hoses, bicycle pedals, sweaters, motor oil — the list goes on and on. One could call Frank the MacGyver of beating people up.
    • In 2 his weapons include watermelons, fire hoses, and an entire boat being renovated which Frank uses to crush a mook after knocking out the support props (the mook was stuck in the porthole).
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Frank is obviously British, being played by the Stath and all, but he was apparently in the U.S. Special Forces.
  • Kick the Dog: The Dragon in the first film spends most of his screen time kicking dogs in one form or another, starting with murdering one of his men on the off chance that they might talk. And then there's his speech to Frank and Lai in which he calls the latter a lying whore, accuses Frank of being dumb enough to let her trick him, and finishes with the following line about the 400 people they came to save from being smuggled in: "Just for the record there were 400 people in that container. Only three hundred ninety-five made it here alive."
    • The Ukrainian intelligence team in 3 shoot dead a police truck driver just to get their hands on the GPS system, even though they could have just threatened him. This is presumably so we don't feel bothered when Frank sends them over the cliff later on.
  • Kingpin in His Gym: The main villain in the second movie is practicing Kendo against multiple opponents in his introductory scene.
  • Kiss of Life: Frank steals one from a mook in the second movie.
  • MacGuffin Escort Mission: Franks's job and the underlying plot of the movies.
  • MacGuffin Guy: Chillini becomes this by drip-feeding the entire remaining antidote into his bloodstream.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Wall Street, Mr. Kwai, Chillini (who is also a Man in White).
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: Frank and Lai in the first film.
  • Ms. Fanservice: What doesn't Lola cater for? Gun Porn (is dual-wielded, full-auto silenced Glocks with Laser Sights enough for you?), Shameless Fanservice Girl, Excessive Evil Eyeshadow, Tattooed Crook (on her inner thigh, no less) Combat Stilettos, Black Bra and Panties, Pink Bra and Panties, and Red Bra and Panties (with black garters and Stocking Filler), Sexy Coat Flashing, Hello, Nurse! (well, medical receptionist), Wet Sari Scene (the fire sprinklers) and Sexy Backless Outfit.
  • Not So Different: Chillini tries this on Frank.
  • Obviously Evil: Several examples. Let's see:
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Happens often in the first movie, particularly with Wall Street, his gangs of henchmen and Lai's dad, who all seem to be able to outrun speeding vehicles.
  • One-Man Army: If Frank was an Elite in the Special Forces before this comparatively easy job, it sends shivers down one's Goddamn spine of just what the hell he had to fight in the actual battlefields of The Transporter universe. Or the very concept that entire squadrons of warriors who are of Frank Martin's caliber exist in The Transporter universe....
  • Papa Wolf: Transporter 2 is one of the few times you'll ever get to see Jason Statham showing a soft (well, as soft as an unsentimental hardass like Statham can be) and sensitive side; specifically, his kindness towards children.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: Valentina figures they're both going to get killed, so why not one last bang? Despite having survived a dangerous Car Chase Frank is definitely not in the mood.
  • Product Placement:
    • In The Transporter, we are treated to many loving shots of Frank's BMW--up to two of the characters (Frank and Tarconi) telling us exactly what model it is.
    • In Transporter 2 and Transporter 3, it's an Audi.
    • All the Oranginas Frank drank in the first film.
  • Psycho for Hire: Lola is a straight example and Chillini is a variant, being an Evilutionary Biologist For Hire.
  • Rape Is Love / Double Standard Rape (Female on Male): Valentina threatening to throw the keys to the exploding car off a cliff if Frank doesn't sleep with her.
  • Rule of Cool: The second and third movies subsist almost entirely on this.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Frank. Lampshaded in scenes where he beats up a bunch of mooks, then gets a fresh suit out of his car.
  • Shirtless Scene: In 3 Valentina keeps a sullen silence towards Frank until he takes off his shirt to fight a gang of hoods. Later she threatens to throw his car keys off the cliff unless he strips for her again. He does.
  • Sissy Villain: Wall Street, with his exagerated gestures, and feeling up of Frank.
  • Smug Snake: Wall Street
  • The Stoic with a Heart of Gold: Inspector Tarconi suggests Frank is turning into this in the third film.
  • Stripperiffic: Lola's "outfit" such as it is.
  • Switch to English: The Chinese father tells his daughter to converse in English with him (even though she speaks perfect Chinese), because language school was expensive.
  • Tempting Fate: In the second movie, after Frank, Jack, and Lola have avoided pursuit from cops by jumping their car from the top of a parking garage to another under construction. The car skids to a stop near the edge, Lola's side facing out.

 Lola: (looking back) I think we lost 'em.

Frank: (looking past her as a helicopter rises into view) Think again.

(Cut to shot from the rear of the helicopter. Automatic-gunfire is heard. The helicopter explodes.)

Lola: (pulls arm with smoking pistol back into car) Thought completed. Let's go.