If you were to do a Google search right now for the movie posters of The Transporter and Transporter 2 and then compared them to the poster to the right of this review (in that little box thingy), what similarities do you see? That’s right; they’re nearly exact carbon copies of one another. And guess what? Transporter 3 is very nearly a clone of its predecessors too. If only I had written a review of one the previous two films so that I could regurgitate it here . . .
Then again, I don’t need an old review because a movie like Transporter 3 is the easiest movie on earth to critique. The premise — ah, who cares what the premise is or more matter of factly that the premise is as believable as Hulk Hogan being able to pass as a sexy lingerie model. For the record though, Jason Statham returns as Frank Martin, the ultra-professional transporter of goods FedEx won’t touch with a 100-foot pole. He’s commissioned to transport a package from Marseilles, France to Odessa, Ukraine for a ruthless businessman Johnson (Robert Knepper). The twist is Frank doesn’t take the job willingly; he and passenger Valentina (Natalya Rudakova) have high-tech bracelets strapped to their wrists that will explode them into tiny pieces of fish food if they step more than 75-feet away from his prized Audi A8.
So instead of just hauling ass to the destination and maintaining his perfect delivery record, Frank seeks a way to get free from his bounds, much to the chagrin of his “employer”. This is where the ass kicking and car chases begin. It’s the perfect situation for first time director Oliver Megaton, as all that is required for him is to do is capture and piece together the scenes of mayhem without getting bogged down in actually asking for his actors to act.
The action, as you can imagine, is all high intensity. The hand-to-hand fights are ridiculously outrageous, pitting our ripped, stubbly faced hero against hordes of bad guys looking to inflict massive amounts of pain on him. Of course, he kicks their ass — as if they ever had a chance. The only thing that tops the fights in absurdity is the car chases. Where else could one imagine a situation in which a car is driven onto a train moving at a high rate of speed and then later actually driven into the same train (that’s right, I said into). Fittingly, everything is edited with Bourne haphazardness, which adds to the chaos of it all.
The only off-putting part of Transporter 3 is the clumsy attempt at romance between Statham’s character and that of his passenger, Valentina. It seemed so out of place, I’d have thought it belonged in another movie. I’ll note freckled newcomer Natalya Rudakova is certainly a sight for sore eyes though, but a leading lady she is not. She’s got a ways to go before she’ll be able to convey something other than sexiness on camera, so watching her attempt fear, concern, anger or any of the other major emotions wasn’t much of a sight.
I wasn’t so pleased with Statham’s last efforts (I believe I called his previous film Death Race a contender for the worst movie of 2008), so I’m glad to see he’s taken a look at going back to doing what made him what he is today — wearing a suit well, not saying much and kicking ass. The mindless action in Transporter 3 is 100 minutes of time well spent escaping your mindless holiday shopping. Check it out.