"Transporter 2" is like a lollipop for adolescent, unsocialized males. It's bright red, sweet, sticky, yummy and over real fast. What more could your 13-year-old want?
The lean, crisp Jason Statham reprises his role as Frank Martin, ex-Special Forces, now a specialized "driver" who guarantees that if it absolutely, positively has to be there on time, he will get it there on time. Such absolutism in our ambiguous world is weirdly attractive, as is Frank himself, in black suit and tie, with the straight-ahead, no-nonsense demeanor of a Marine gunnery sergeant crossed with Jackie Chan, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood back before he had a name. The movie is a pop artifact, goosing deep-brain pleasure centers while bypassing the intellectual nodes. The action in the first "Transporter" was set in decadent olde Europe (the Riviera); it now moves to decadent newe Miami. There, the Transporter, in his shiny Audi Quattro, is tasked with delivering a child to and from school. The kid is the son of an anti-drug czar, played by ex-movie star Matthew Modine, and Cameron Diaz look-alike Amber Valletta. The boy, though Frank tries hard to prevent it, is kidnapped as the fulcrum in an ambitious plot against his daddy. Frank decides to get him back, even if the Miami police think he's the kidnapper.
The fights are all fun -- Statham specializes in kickboxing moves, and the scissors nips and slashes that Hong Kong fight choreographer Corey Yuen has mapped out look fast and deadly. Sometimes it goes over the top, but for that brain-dead fun that makes late summer bearable, "Transporter 2" isn't a bad piece of candy.
-- Stephen Hunter