Frank Martin puts the driving gloves on to deliver Valentina, the kidnapped daughter of a Ukranian government official, from Marseilles to Odessa on the Black Sea. En route, he has to contend with thugs who want to intercept Valentina's safe delivery and not let his personal feelings get in the way of his dangerous objective.
This movie is by far the worst of the series. The stories never make much sense and the action is usually so over the top that it is, more often than not, laughable. Transporter 2 made this work by embracing its own ridiculousness and having a lot of fun with it. Transporter 3 seems like it should be doing the same, but instead wastes endless minutes of precious screen time desperately trying to explain the inexplicable. Villains and police detective MacGuffins drone on and on, desperately trying to convince us this is a logical, sensible action film while at the same time inventing completely random reasons for Jason Statham to take his shirt off. This is not a real plot, and because it wastes so much time trying to convince us that it is, Transporter 3 also isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t any fun.
If thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s anything good to be said for Transporter 3 itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s that at least, for once, Jason StathamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Frank Martin character is actually transporting something. In theory Martin is a professional driver, a man of precision who will transport high-value cargo from point A to point B, without asking in questions. In practice, previous movies have rarely given Frank much opportunity to do any actual driving, inventing kidnappings and other excuses for him to get out of the car and kick doors down. For the third film theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve solved that problem by, almost literally, tying Frank Martin to wheel of his car.
For reasons he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t at first understand, Frank is kidnapped by a mysterious group of nefarious thugs and ordered to drive to various locations for unspecified reasons. In the passenger seat with him is a girl (Natalya Rudakova), who seems as confused by this whole mess as Frank is. To ensure MartinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cooperation, the thugs in question have strapped a bomb to his wrist which, should he stray more than a specified distance from his automobile, will go off. Frank is stuck behind the wheel and he has no idea why. To make matters worse the freckled, drunken slut sitting next to him canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t speak English and yet absolutely will not shut up. While Frank eventually seems to find this attractive, for the audience being forced along with them for the ride, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s torture. Maybe 100 minutes of incoherent babbling from an Eastern European prostitute is your idea of a good time, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not mine. Shoot her Frank! Shoot her!
Eventually we do find out whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going on, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s so silly that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll resent the time Transporter 3 wastes in telling you. And believe me, it wastes a lot of it. When the film isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t wasting your time with awful bad guy monologuing or bumbling, unrelated police work, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s engaged in a variety of fairly humdrum, often stupid action sequences. Frank rarely fights any worthy opponents and when he does itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s filmed with annoying quick cuts which limit whatever little excitement there is to be gained from it. The car chases arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t much better. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a halfway decent sequence involving Frank on a bicycle, but the filmÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only other automobile pursuit involves two cars driving slowly through the woods. With a plot this bad you really need to deliver big time stunts but Transporter 3 just doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have that in it. This is the kind of movie where cars which drive off cliffs must instantly explode on impact and where bad guys attack one at a time, even if thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ten of them standing around in a group. That says it all really. What a bunch of nonsense.
An action movie anticipated from many many fans, including myself.
I decided it was worth going to 'the big screen' for it so I took a friend and persuaded her into watching an action for once in her life.
And then later on, I felt like I betrayed her.
Transporter 3 didn't offer anything new. At least not in the good way.
While in previous movies, Frank Martin, has some damn good common sense, in this movie he falls victim of .. yes, you guessed it, 'love'. I wasn't impressed in the least when half way through the movie, our dear Frank bumps uglies with Valentina, a girl he knows absolutely nothing about except that she's wearing a short sparkly dress and that she likes eating. A lot. She also likes to get stoned, drunk and then pee in public.
Aside from being very tall and unmistakably charming even when stoned, the girl appears to be a little over 20 years old and I find myself praying that Frank isn't doing something illegal.
Valentina is not likable for sure, but somehow she manages to wrap Frank in her little web of hollow words and lusty gazes until he gives into her 'charm.'
Enough on the girl. It was frustrating enough that she seemed to be there to stay.
On a much more positive note, we don't see a typical bad guy in Transporter 3. Because honestly, we're tired of typical bad guys. Masterminds that you immediately have to force yourself to think 'this guy really is something. Genius but evil'. Blah.
No, in the third part of our beloved Transporters we see Robert Knepper (Prison Break) as simply Johnson, in his own words a person who doesn't enjoy confrontation but likes to get the job done. No matter what it takes. In my book while that is not all that believable (considering it's coming from the villain of the story) it certainly is likable if chosen to be taken as the truth.
And back to our dear Frank, the good bad guy. Ultimately badass and undeniably sexy, Frank does what he does best - he fights with passion , drives his car with speed and love and takes off his shirt for all of us to see. And mainly apparently Valentina.
Damn, back to the girl again.
This is where I decide to end my review. In short - Transporter doesn't really offer anything new but if you liked the first two movies, you're most likely to like this one as well. Me? I wouldn't watch it a second time. I can't stand to see a character so hard to get to as Frank being charmed by a slutty Ukrainian who may or may not be old enough for him to hook up with.
At the Movies
Transporter 3 (PG) * * * *
By ROBERT WALDMAN
Al Gore, take a bow. Thanks to the former vice-PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s An Inconvenient Truth the environment is a hot topic everywhere. Even in Hollywood. First off the block to have an ecological tinge to it was the James Bond Quantum of Solace follow-up to Casino Royale. Ready to ratchet up the box office sweepstakes now is Transporter 3, the latest episode in a very lucrative new film franchise from Maple Pictures blazing itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own path to glory at Tinseltown (on Pender, free parking), Empire Studio 12, Colossus and Famous Players Silver City cites around B.C. Star Jason Statham should have been on the short-list to succeed Pierce Brosnan as the new 007. Yes, as anyone who has seen Jason do his thing in the previous two Transporter movies, he is that good. Comparisons between the latest Bond and the newest Transporter film are inevitable, whether its in the plot, storyline, sex, action sequences or what have you. Sorry James, you may need to fine tune your techniques.
Wildly flambouyant and full of fun, this new 100 minute spectacular again takes place in Europe. Man for all seasons Frank Martin is once more your go to guy. Just in case you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seen the previous two outings our chap makes a living Ã¢â‚¬Å“carryingÃ¢â‚¬Â cargo to undisclosed destinations. More often than not the package he carries via a rather ordinary looking Audi sedan hold the key to some devious scheme from the folks who contract this businessman. Here somehow the environment, politics and corrupt businesspeople come into play.
Beneath that cold, calm exterior Mr. Martin exudes almost cerebral confidence. Much of the fun in this film concerns a passenger who travels with Martin, a svelte foreign national named Valentina with Eastern European roots. As the pair travel from France to the Baltic States they are pursued by various baddies and, to make matters worse, apparently this time the travelers are on a very short leash.
Expect and receive lots of wall to wall action and fight sequences pitting Martin against just an army of enemies. Both California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylevestor Stallone would be proud as Jason clearly is the heir apparent to the Rambo and Commando franchises. Oh, and the criminal in this piece is truly a cad delightfully depicted by Robert Knepper (Hitman) who doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really like taking no for an answer.
Newcomer Natalya Rudakova makes an impressive film debut as the not too talkative rider taken along for one heck of a ride. Light humour in the best French tradition is brought to the fore by Francois Berleand who is teaming up with Statham for the third time as an easy-going French inspector not in the least comparable to former sleuth Jacques Clouseau.
Though not quite as engaging as the previous two outings Transporter 3 still packs quite a punch and will be thoroughly enjoyed by fans of the series. Besides being hunky Statham (The Bank Job) is really an exceptionally good actor and lights up the screen. Director Olivier Megaton and super co-writer Luc Besson again deliver the goods in this non-stop, smartly written adventure thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s full throttle fun all the way. Hey boys, next time lets set foot on either North American or Middle Eastern soil to further ramp up the fun quotient!
Read more reviews by Robert at www.moviereviewssite.com