Starring: Jason Statham, some fast cars and a series of increasingly outrageous stunts.
Comments: There is a moment about half an hour into True Lies where the film reaches a juncture point. The unlikely scenario has been set up, there's been some promising action sequences and a fantastic chase has reached a climax. Arnie is in pursuit of a bad guy. The bad guy is on a motorbike and Arnie is on a horse. They've just decimated a shopping arcade and made their way to the roof. The motorbike leaps across a vast chasm to land in the swimming pool of a nearby building, Arnie backs up his horse, gallops towards the precipice and there's a split second where the scriptwriters seem to have left reality behind.
Except it doesn't happen. The horse tells Arnie where to go, the bad guy gets away and the film slips into a lengthy period of clumsy romantic comedy from which it never truly recovers.
There is a similar moment in Transporter 2. The unlikely scenario has been set up, there's been some promising action sequences and a fantastic chase has reached a climax. Frank (Statham) is trying to evade the police. They've just decimated a freeway and made their way to the roof of a multi-storey carpark. There's only one place to go and there's a split second where the scriptwriters seem to have left reality behind.
And they have.
The film never looks back. The car ploughs through a wall, leaps a vast chasm and dives neatly into a half-constructed high-rise across the road. What has been an all right action flick suddenly becomes an hilarious succession of ridiculous stunts. Statham jumps around so much, he practically learns to fly. Fights are played for laughs. Everything is over the top.
It would be possible to be annoyed by the lack of realism but realism isn't what this film's about. It's just putting on a show. There's obvious influence from Eastern action films, with plenty of outlandish martial arts and wirework, but unlike say, The Matrix or The Tuxedo, there's no desire to explain it all - Frank is just that hard.
It's like 24 gone mad...
Conclusion: An entertaining action film which doesn't take itself seriously. Think Under Siege rather than Mission: Impossible.
Death by firehose: Yes.
Villainess who fights in her underwear: Yes.