Sometimes I watch movies so you won’t have to. I sacrifice hours on lazy Sunday afternoons abusing my eyes and my sense of taste not just because I enjoy bad cinema, I do, but because some bad movies descend so low that even cinematic shit-eaters like myself can find no redeeming qualities to them whatsoever, and viewers need to be warned to avoid them. Like a signpost jutting out of the desert warning of rattlesnake country ahead, or a toxic waste dump, consider this article a harbinger, for there will be trouble for those who ignore it.
This Sunday saw The Transporter, a 2002 production from the Luc Besson action mill. This was a popular film, and still is, having now spawned a pair of sequels. But it is also excruciatingly dumb. I have little patience with films that feel the audience is lacking in any sort of sophistication. I find them insulting. The Transporter is aimed at an audience as intelligent as an average five-year-old child, but it is decidedly a film made for adults. This paradox causes unavoidable moments of, well, hostile dissent. As a viewer, I was part of the experience of the film, but every time a car magically leaped from a bridge from a stationary position, or stars Jason Statham and Shu Qi said their lines as if it they were reading recipes from a cookbook, I felt like I wanted to rise up and take to the streets.
We should not have to put up with films like this, where improbability, cliché, and rote performances take the place of respect for the moviegoing public. This film’s success, therefore, I feel to be unfortunate. We, the public, are in an abusive relationship with Luc Besson and his team of writers, directors, and stunt coordinators. We give him license to shovel glitzy shit onto the screen with every ticket we buy and every video we rent. Enough already. Alien: Resurrection is better than The Transporter.