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Review The Transporter (2002) and Review Into the Sun (2005)

genre: action, crime, martial arts

If I am not mistaken this is the first proper action film that established Jason Statham as an action star. It seems like he had done most of his fighting and stunts himself. Although knowing a little about (action) director Corey Yuen that is not that surprising. He is known for pushing actors to go beyond especially when they are capable.

For the most part The Transporter is a simple and enjoyable action flick with very little substance. The premise of a driver with rules who then very quickly breaks those rules is quite interesting. Personally I would have liked him to be stone cold and stick by those rules until someone else had disregarded his rules. I think that would have made The Transporter a far more compelling story. Then again this film needed a motivation for Frank Martin to kick ass so naturally an absolutely gorgeous woman gets thrown into the mix. Shu Qi is the one package he did open which brought him in all kinds of trouble. Now you would think that this would be the start of non stop action. Except this is not the case. It takes a whole hour for that to start. But then when it finally does you can strap yourself for some wonderful choreographed action. Statham apparently is a skilled martial artist and shows off some impressive moves. Up until now he had never demonstrated this. Perhaps he was never give a chance to? In any case he does a good job.

The Transporter is enjoyable but not really a classic. It lacks those ingredients that would make you watch this over and over again. So don't get your hopes up and keep your expectations low.

Supposedly Into the Sun is the last of the good films he Steven Seagal had made. While most fans admit it's far from his best it's leagues better than the crap he is in today. At least that is what is claimed. Naturally that peaked my interest.

Unfortunately I soon found out that all of these fans must have been under the influence because apart from the few short decent action sequences Into the Sun is one big mess. While it has the illusion of being a coherent story nothing that transpires in this film is remotely logical. It's almost like all the parts that are supposed to make sense have been cut. And let me tell you that is rather odd since there are quite a lot of scenes where people just talk. Don't get me wrong if those dialogue scenes were in any way interesting then naturally I would applaud that. However I don't really want people to be talking much in a Steven Seagal action flick. At one point. Pretty late into the film we get introduced to a plot event so unbelievable and far fetched I couldn't stop laughing. While I am against spoiling plot elements even in super bad Steven Seagal films I do think I need to. If only to point out how ridiculous this film is. An absolutely beautiful and young Japanese woman for some reason is heavily in love with Travis (Steven Seagal). Only she never expressed herself about this since she wasn't sure if Travis felt the same. When he states his love for her in the most unromantic way ever she is so happy she cries. A single tear! You know like the Crying Indian meme. Naturally this relationship won't end well. I won't reveal what happens but you probably are able to guess. It's utterly looney tunes. 

But wait a minute? What was the story about before this event? In short, Travis who is a super duper expert about Japan and it's culture is there to put a stop to the newly formed alliance between the Tongs and some Yakuza thugs. In capable hands that would have made a great story if they actually had bothered to flesh out all of the characters involved. Instead we get to witness some of the most useless, boring and stereotypical gangsters ever. They are so predictable in everything they do. Ken Lo is not given that much to do. He doesn't even get to fight Seagal for longer than a minute. It's such a waste of his talent. Also that particular scene demonstrates that Steven is out of shape. 

Overall Into the Sun is like 95 percent dialogue and exposition and around 5 percent action. For an action film that's ridiculously low. So don't make the mistake I made. Never ever watch this since you will only waste your precious time. 

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