The Transporter (French: Le Transporteur) is a Franco-American action / crime movie directed by Louis Leterrier and Corey Yuen. Luc Besson was inspired by BMW Films' "The Hire" series to create this movie. It was released in France on October 2, 2002 and in the United States on October 11, 2002. The Transporter stars Jason Statham as Frank Martin and Shu Qi as Lai Kwai. This is the first film in the series; it is followed by Transporter 2 and Transporter 3, which is to be released in 2008.
Frank is next seen at his home along the coast of Southern France, cleaning his car. His parole officer, Tarconi (Berléand), stops by to inquire if Martin knows anything about a police chase involving the same type car that he owns, that took place the previous day. Martin denies that he does and Tarconi leaves. Martin receives a call from a man who is "looking for a transporter", Martin agrees to meet. Martin meets the man in a bar, where he explains his four rules:
A deal is agreed upon. The day of the deal, Martin picks up the package, which is placed in his trunk, and sets off on his route. While on the road, Martin gets a flat tire. He opens the trunk, to retrieve his spare tire, and finds that the package is moving. He pushes the package out of the way, and fixes the flat tire. After eating at a rest stop, he returns to the trunk and, breaking one of his own rules, he opens the package. Inside he finds a girl (Qi) who's hands and barefeet are tied up and she has tape over her mouth. He slits the tape and allows her to drink through a straw. He then removes the tape, she says that she "has to pee," and asks him if he wants her to do so in his trunk. He agrees to let her go into the woods, for one minute. After tying a rope around her neck, he lets her walk into the woods. After one minute passes, Martin follows the rope into the woods to discover that the girl has escaped. He quickly tracks her down, ties her up, gags her, and carries her back to the car, only to find that two police officers looking at his car on the side of the road. He defeats them at hand-to-hand combat, ties them up and puts them both in the trunk, along with the "package."
Martin arrives at the destination and delivers the package to its recipient (Schulze). The recipient asks him if he opened the package. Martin denies that he did. The recipient then asks him if he would mind transporting something for him, Martin accepts the offer. On his way home Martin stops at a rest stop, on his way back to his car it suddenly explodes. Martin returns to the house of the recipient and beats up all of his henchmen. He then steals a Mercedes Benz from the recipients collection of cars, only to discover that hiding in the backseat is the "package" girl. Still gagged with tape and with her hands tied tightly behind her back and secured to the chair and her barefeet tied tightly together. He takes her to his home for the night. He questions her and she tells him that her name is "Lai."
The next morning Tarconi stops by again, and finds Lai, who claims that she is "the new cook." He explains that the police have found Martin's car, which had been blown up the previous day, and that they were still trying to sort out the remains of the two police officers, who had both been killed. Martin claims that his car was stolen, Lai backs him up saying that she picked him up walking alongside the road. Tarconni leaves, telling the couple that they are to come by the station later that day to explain the truth.
A group of men arrive outside Martin's house, they proceed to destroy the house with a bazooka and heavy gunfire, though Martin and Lai are able to escape via an underwater escape route. They swim until they reach another house where they have sex. Later they go to the police station to see Tarconi, they tell him they went for a walk and the house had been destroyed when they had returned. Tarconi leaves and Lai uses his computer to track down her recipient who is Derren Bettencourt, but is only referred to as "Wall Street." They leave the police station, but Tarconi discovers that they had been searching for Wall Street.
Martin tries to walk away, but Lai protests that there are four hundred people being smuggled into the country by Wall Street, inside shipping containers, including her father and her sisters. Martin agrees to help her find him. They come to Wall Street's office, but Martin is surprised when Lai's father is revealed to be an accomplice in the smuggling. Martin is knocked out by one of the henchmen as Tarconi and the police arrive. Unable to defend himself, Martin is arrested. Tarconi questions Martin as to what is going on, Martin replies that people are being smuggled into the country and that if given the opportunity he could catch Wall Street and Lai's father. Tarconi agrees and they stage a hostage situation to get out of the police station and to the docks.
Martin continues alone and finds the shipping crates, in which the people are being smuggled. However, they are being moved and he has no choice but to follow. Martin is discovered by Wall Street who tells his henchmen to kill him. After a lengthy hand-to-hand fight at the shipping yard and at a bus station, Martin hijacks an airplane, he tells the pilot to fly over the trucks transporting the shipping containers. Martin skydives, landing on the containers and after a struggle to gain control of a truck, during which Wall Street is killed, he drives it off to the side of the road and stops it. Lai's father approaches him, holding a gun to his head, and tells Martin to get out and walk. Martin follows these directions, the two have a conversation, during which Lai is heard screaming in the background, which is cut off by a gunshot. As Lai's father aims his gun at Martin, a shot is heard, though it is revealed that Lai has shot her father, and Martin remains unharmed. Tarconi arrives with the police, who open up the shipping container and free the captives within.
The uncut fight on the bus can be seen in the "Extended Fight Sequences" on the North American DVD, with no sound, however.