PictureThe good news is that this MPEG-2 (at 18MBPS) encoded transfer is extremely polished and eye-embracing. Deliberately shot with a blown-out contrast, Transporter 2's 2.35:1 image is greatly detailed and rich in colour. It is slick and glossy, but the picture does not mask the intricacies of the frame with such, often superficial, sheen. Close-ups are staggeringly good, with Statham's face regularly looking as though the actor has just popped his head through your screen. His stubble and Amber Valletta's eyes, gun-toting vixen Lola's (Kate Nauta) skimpy attire and delectable flesh, and Jason Flemying's sick-looking visage are all presented with pixel-perfection. Long shots, particularly of the Miami docks, feature a wealth of finely rendered detail as well, keeping up a high level of visual texture.
Despite the heightened contrast, blacks remain deep and robust and whites stay just the safe side of blooming. Colours are nice, bright and deep. Frank's drive back his employer's house during the opening credits offers lush greens of the many gardens, cool blues and emeralds for the rolling surf, and nice blues are also picked out along the way. Blood is deep and vivid, especially when we see it staining Statham's shirt, and the explosions in the doctor's surgery are gloriously rich and fiery. Flesh-tones, however, seem a tad unnatural ... although they are probably in-keeping with the cartoonic look of the film at large.
Three-dimensionality is produced and showcased by lots of roving camerawork, with the multiple-attackers sequences benefiting from the enhanced depth and the long shots of the boatyard and the cranes looking quite awesome. Grain appears over the odd frame now and again, but this is possibly only noticeable because the rest of the film is completely clean and crisp. Edges are tight and sharp and the transfer betrays no sign of artefacting, smearing or noise.
In short, this is a great image from one of the format's early releases.
SoundAlthough I still can't assess the full potential of DTS-HD Master Lossless Audio due to technical limitations, I can definitely state that the DTS Core element that I heard on this disc truly rocks. It may not have the sheer openness that I am regularly enamoured with from the likes of PCM Uncompressed or Dolby TrueHD, but this is a wildly energetic and enveloping sound design that boasts tremendously deep bass, music spread smartly around the set-up and dialogue that is never once lost or submerged, no matter how chaotic the action gets.
Impacts have weight, with things such as bodies smacking violently into unyielding objects, crashing through walls and taking fist and foot salvos all sounding acutely dynamic and painful. Vehicles smash into one another with sharp and deep-felt immediacy and gunshots carry velocity and power. The steerage is wonderful around the front half of the soundscape, although, to be honest, I felt the track lacked a bit of the zip-around intensity that would have made it a winner. The rears are active, don't get me wrong, but they just didn't seem to carry much that excited me. But, that said, this is still a bombastic delight that will have sub-lovers enjoying many gut-rumbling moments of rock-the-house audio-quakes.
A good fun track that brings the film to life with gusto.
ExtrasUnless you count the film's original theatrical trailer, amid a plethora of other BD trailers as a valid extra, then there is nothing added here, folks. Criminal.
VerdictAmazingly good fun, Transporter 2 is brain-damaged and excessive. You know instantly what you are going to get with it and, with this in mind, you can't possibly be disappointed.
Now with Crank to his sweat-soaked credit as well, Statham really could carve out a niche for himself. Looking the part and truly believable in the action-stakes, he kicks the proverbial out of lardy-assed Steven Siegal and any number of other direct-to-video heroes, and at least his movies earn themselves some respectable box office, too.
A dazzling transfer that literally bursts from the screen and throbs with dynamic audio is only let down by the complete and utter lack of extras. Still, just to see Statham's gymnastic pugilism and laconic attitude to danger, Transporter 2 is definitely worth a look.
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