While I may not be perfect at this, I like to think I’m the kind of guy that usually has good faith in movies that many consider to be awful (much like the second and third Matrix films, but we shouldn’t get into that). Case and point here with Hany Abu-Assad’s direct-to-video release, The Courier. I heard absolutely nothing on this, so much so that I really couldn’t have any opinion on it at all going in. Needless to say, I think, this is a very independent movie and that shows, but this isn’t a completely terrible film. It isn’t really all that good of one either.
If you ever need a package delivered, no questions asked, the first person to call would be Frank from The Transporter, but that’s not this movie. In this case, you would call the Courier (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a mysterious man that delivers packages, and that’s all you need to know if he is to be hired. One day, he is approached by a rather hostile client (Til Schweiger) who demands that he deliver a suit case to a man long thought to be dead named Evil Sevile, who became one of the most notoriously violent gangsters in New Orleans. With the help of his new partner, Anna (Josie Ho), the Courier begins his 60 hour long mission, only to be attacked on all sides by FBI agents and another gangster that wants him dead (Mickey Rourke).
At first glance, and second glance, and probably even third glance, The Courier seems like a disgusting rip off of the much superior Transporter films. Well, that’s because it kinda, sorta…well…is. There is a lot that happens towards the end that adds some flair of originality, but the entire time I was watching this movie, I really wanted to be watching something else. That is not a sign of a good movie, especially one that rips off a whole idea from another film. If you’re going to rip something off, you might as well make it better. Not only was I put off by this, but the movie itself is just really boring.
This movie is pretty much made to sound like an action thriller, but it is clearly lacking in action. I understand that this movie was pretty low budget for what it is, and you can see that the film makers really try, but I feel like film makers have to realize what they are capable of with the resources that they have. The director even said in the special features how limited they were while making this film. This makes it feel like a slow moving thriller with the story of a mindless action film. It makes for a really awkward combination. There was one scene in particular where I was really ready for the climax of the film. The set up was actually really cool and the setting was fun, but then the climax and the reveal happened. All I can say is that for all of that build up, it was pretty sloppy and all together uninteresting.
I can’t say that I completely hated this movie or call it a piece of shit, because it really isn’t horrible. I really enjoyed Jeffrey Dean Morgan in The Losers, and I enjoyed him again here. The cast really is great. There’s Mickey Rourke, Til Schweiger (Inglourious Basterds), Miguel Ferrer (Twin Peaks), and Mark Margolis (Breaking Bad). That’s a pretty cool cast for a movie that is really underwhelming. The acting from these people aren’t the problem and the cinematography is actually pretty darn good, especially considering the director is an award winning film maker.
The Courier is one of those weird movies that really isn’t very good, even though it’s close to being something. It really is painful how much it rips off The Transporter and other action film cliches, even though there are many times where this doesn’t feel like an action film. It has to be hard making a film like this on such a low budget, and it unfortunately shows at times. I really can’t recommend this movie at all because it is so nothing special and bland that I really have to much to say about it. I guess I can just say, it’s a direct-to-video movie that is exactly what you’d expect from something like that.