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|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E||
dir Louis Leterrier|
scr Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
with Jason Statham, Amber Valletta, Matthew Modine, Alessandro Gassman, Kate Nauta, Jason Flemyng, Keith David, Hunter Clary, Shannon Briggs, François Berléand, George Kapetan, Jeff Chase
release US 2.Sep.05, UK 25.Nov.05
05/US Fox 1h27
Please form an orderly queue: Statham and friends
Abandoning the enjoyable camp machismo of the first film, this sequel transports the action from France to Miami and somehow becomes even more ridiculously overwrought. It's only watchable if you switch off your brain completely.
Driver and former SAS agent Frank Martin (Statham) is for some reason chauffeuring the young son (Clary) of a millionaire drug enforcement official (Modine) and his estranged wife (Valetta). But high-powered Italian thug Gianni (Gassman) is intent on kidnapping the boy for some nefarious reason. As the pathologically efficient Frank battles Gianni's bikini-clad sidekick (Nauta), Russian goon (Flemying) and Rasta musclehead (Briggs), he begins to realise something big is going on.
Two opening logos tell us who's presenting the movie: 20th Century Fox and Audi. Frank's maxed-out car is the real star--rocketing across rooftops and waterways, flipping and skidding, repelling bullets and bombs, never sustaining the tiniest smudge or scratch. And that's the most probable thing about the film. Don't get me started on the over-choreographed fights (baddies always attack one by one!), ludicrous technology (CCTV to iPod to mobile phone to random police terminal!) or that preposterous airborne climax.
Statham is fine--steely resolve and relentless competence, although he doesn't seem to be having nearly as much fun as last time. Valetta is oddly reminiscent of Cameron Diaz with maternal instincts, while Nauta is a Milla Jovovich clone. Everyone else just behaves beastly, bullheadedly or stupidly, depending on the script's simple demands. The only other returnee from the first film is Berleand, as a French cop who just happens to be in Miami visiting the isolated loner Frank when all of this takes place.
The problem is that Besson and company seem to have taken the success of the first film seriously, not noticing that its genius was the fact that it only worked due to its tongue-in-cheek fruitiness. Leterrier directs incoherently--too many close-ups and quick cuts, and no respect at all for Miami geography or the laws of gravity. It's impossible to enjoy even the most inventive action sequence without any context. Sure, it's blissfully energetic, but it's also exhaustingly idiotic.
|mark frost, scottsdale az: "this movie was awful! give me a break! flying off a parking garage across the street to another parking garage exactly between the floors and landing safely! a woman using two uzis with appearently 2000 round magazines! fly through the air flip over just right to dislodge the bomb underneath the car without hitting nothing else on the under carrige and then land safely. this is one of the worst movies i have ever seen! terrible terrible!" (22.Jan.06)|
© 2005 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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