Directed by Louis Leterrier, starring Jason Statham, Alessandro Gassman, Amber Valletta, Kate Nauta, Matthew Modine, Jason Flemyng, Keith David, Hunter Clary, Shannon Briggs and Francois Bereleand.

Director Louis Leterrier chooses to abandon realism and believability in favour of spectacular displays here, as Frank Martin, the driver-for-hire who asks no questions, returns to action (and there's certainly plenty of it, as he high-kicks his way through his maximum-energy flick). Need we say more?

This time around Frank (Statham) is temporarily acting as a chauffeur to a young boy called Jack (Clary), whose father (Modine) happens to be a powerful US official and whose mother Audrey (Valletta) just happens to be a very lonely housewife. It's all a little tame to start with so, to get us in the mood, Frank invites trouble onto himself as he parks in deserted car-parks, challenges a few thugs to a showdown and generally finds any excuse to flex his muscles.

Then onward to the real business of the movie. It's Jack's birthday and Frank has agreed to take him to his doctor's appointment so that his mother can arrange his surprise party. But, alas, things are never that simple in a movie starring Jason Statham. When they arrive at the doctor's surgery it seems that the doctors have been replaced by mobsters with machine guns and it isn't long before the eagle-eyed Frank spots that something is amiss, kicking it all off.

After managing to escape the doctor's surgery ambush, Frank plans on delivering Jack safely home but the mobsters Plan B has already swung into action as they kidnap the child, implicating Frank in the crime (luckily for him though, the boy's mother has taken a serious fancy to the new chauffeur). As the police move in, Frank simultaneously sets out to retrieve the boy and prove his innocence, making for huge drama, numerous inventive (if borrowed) fight scenes and of course a happy-ever-after outcome, that will inevitably set Frank free, to roam the roads again.

But the baddies, lead by marital arts expert Gianni (Gassman), have more in mind than a botched kidnapping, choosing to spread a deadly virus through the freed child, in the hope of wiping out his father and the other powerful people he comes in contact with. And so the story becomes one of a death-defying attempt to find the antidote before it's too late.

Jason Statham does all-action hero well, built for speed and daring antics and always sounding like a smooth-operator. The humour that emerges as we watch him, MacGyver-like, use anything to hand to his advantage is never forced. You'll want to laugh out loud at how incredibly over-the-top it all is, but at the same time you'll feel compelled to keep watching the farcical antics as they pile up thick and fast. 

Sometimes there's nothing funnier than fast-paced, ridiculously unbelievable action, just for the sake of it.

Linda McGee