The Transporter is a 2002 English-language French action-thriller film directed by Corey Yuen and Louis Leterrier (who is credited as artistic director on the film) and written by Luc Besson, who was inspired by BMW Films' The Hire series. The film stars Jason Statham as Frank Martin, a driver for hire—a mercenary "transporter" who will deliver anything, anywhere, no questions asked—for the right price. It also stars Shu Qi as Lai Kwai.
It is the first installment in the Transporter franchise, succeeded by three sequels, Transporter 2 and Transporter 3, The Transporter Refueled (a reboot), and a television series.
Frank Martin is a former special operations soldier and now a highly skilled driver/mercenary residing in the South of France whose callsign is "The Transporter". He strictly follows three rigid rules when transporting:
1. Once a deal is made, it is final.
2. No names.
3. Never open the package.
In Nice, Frank is hired to transport three bank robbers with his black BMW 735i, but they hoist the fourth man in his car after the robbery. Explaining the extra weight will affect his precisely planned getaway, he refuses to drive until, in desperation, the leader kills one of his men who is pushed out of the car. Later they offer more money for Frank to drive them to Avignon. He refuses the deal. The robbers escape in another car but are foiled by their amateur driving.
At Frank's villa on the French Riviera, local Police Inspector Tarconi questions Frank about the black BMW that fled the scene of a robbery Frank was a getaway driver for. However, lacking any real proof, Tarconi leaves. Frank is then hired to deliver a package of 50 kilograms (110 lb) to an American, Darren "Wall Street" Bettencourt, that is loaded into Frank's trunk. While changing a flat tire, Frank notices the package moving.
Realizing a person is inside, he violates his third rule to give the person something to drink. He discovers a woman, tied up and gagged. She attempts to escape but Frank recaptures her and returns her to the trunk along with two policemen who spot them.
Frank delivers the package to Bettencourt as promised and agrees to another job, transporting a briefcase. As he stops to buy drinks for the cops in his trunk, a bomb was hidden in the briefcase explodes. Out for vengeance, Frank returns to Bettencourt's villa where he kills and wounds several henchmen. Frank then steals a car (a Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse) to get away, only to find "the package" bound and gagged in the back seat. He brings the young woman, whose name is Lai, back to his house.
Bettencourt visits one of his surviving men in the hospital to determine who attacked his residence, before killing the man after discovering that Frank is alive. The next day, Marconi arrives and asks about Frank's car, which Frank claims was stolen. Lai supports Frank's alibi by introducing herself as his new cook and girlfriend. Tarconi again leaves with no concrete evidence. Shortly after, Bettencourt's hitmen fire missiles and automatic weapons down on the house. Frank and Lai barely escape through an underwater passage to a nearby safe house where they end up having sex.
Later, while being questioned at the police station, Lai accesses Tarconi's computer to find information on Bettencourt. Frank, presumed dead by Bettencourt wants to rebuild his villa and start a new life and advises Lai to do so too before she tells him that Bettencourt is a human trafficker with 400 Chinese trapped in shipping containers, including her family. Lai and Frank go to Bettencourt's office, where Bettencourt reveals that Lai's father, Kwai, is also a human trafficker and Bettencourt's partner in crime. Kwai arrives and his henchmen subdue Frank. When Tarconi arrives, Kwai and Bettencourt accuse Frank of kidnapping Lai. Tarconi has Frank arrested and locked up in the station.
Realizing Frank would not be constrained by search warrants and that he would be able to solve the case faster than the police, Tarconi agrees to aid Frank's escape as his faux hostage and releases him at the harbor of Cassis. Frank then tracks the criminals to the docks in Marseille, where they load the containers onto trucks. However, Frank is spotted and forced to fight his way through the guards, and fails to stop the trucks. He then steals an old car and makes chase at dawn before it breaks down on a small country road. He then commandeers a small airplane from a farmer and follows the highway to the trucks where he parachutes onto one of them. After a lengthy fight, Frank manages to kill Bettencourt by throwing him out of the moving truck and also some of his henchmen, only to be ambushed by Kwai once he gets out of the truck where he is marched to a cliff edge.
However, Frank is saved when Lai reluctantly shoots her father. Afterward, Tarconi arrives with the police, and they rescue the people trapped inside the two containers as he congratulates Frank on his work.