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DVD Review: ‘Transit’

★★★☆☆

Newly-released on DVD and Blu-ray this week comes Transit (2012), a fast-paced action film from Colombian film director Antonio Negret. Bursting into action with an armoured truck being lured into a $4 million heist, we meet the sinister protagonists at the forefront of the ensuing chase: the poker-faced Marek (James Frain) and the twitchy machete-wielding Losada (Harold Perrineau). The two are accompanied by Marek’s big-breasted broad Arielle (Diora Baird) and the peaky-looking Evers (Ryan Donowho).

After listening to a police frequency and hearing about a roadblock set up on their escape route, the heist crew know they have to act, and fast. Cue the (partially) innocent Nate (James Caviezel) and Suburban family on their way to a make or break family camping trip after Nate’s estate fraud conviction in their sensible 4×4 with practical roof stored bags.

Desperate and fretting, Arielle clocks the car and hatches a plan to stash the cash on the 4×4’s roof amongst their bags. Successfully doing so undetected, a game of cat and mouse quickly ensues as the check point sees the robbers pulled over for inspection but the family driving through unchecked.

Do the robbers get their loot? Do Nate’s family trust him after his conviction, or do they believe he is part of the heist? It’s suspicion and betrayal all the way in this slowly chugging ride, but once it’s in gear it accelerates at a pace Jeremy Clarkson would probably enjoy. Transit isn’t simply an action ride or a predictably-scripted homage to Die Hard (1988) – though some lines may convince you otherwise. It does contain some experimental camerawork thanks to cinematographer Yaron Levy setting a standard of off kilter camera angles, tracking shots and a certain naturalistic hue reminiscent of first person combat films.

On the whole, Negret’s Transit won’t challenge your brain cells for life’s answers but it will entertain you for the duration of its 80 minute runtime – undoubtedly, most will have viewed much worse under the guise of the action-thriller genre.

Clare Bruford