Transporter 3 My Reviews 28 JAN 2009

Transporter 3He delivers.

I caught Transporter 3 a little while ago, the third entry in the highly entertaining Transporter franchise that in general sees Jason Statham kick some serious butt. I am happy to report that in this latest release, he continues to do just that – and then some.

Transporter 3 is a 2008 French action movie release, once again penned by famed French writer and director Luc Besson and this time directed by Olivier Megaton, the first time he has been handed the reigns on the Transporter series. It stars Jason Statham back in the titular role as Frank Martin and Robert Knepper (from Prison Break infamy) as the villainous Johnson. Francois Berleand returns as Inspector Tarconi and newcomer Natalya Rudakova adds the little bit of (probably not needed) romance into the mix.

First off, one has to understand that the Transporter series has always been about a light story which then serves as the vehicle for dollops of huge, over the top action sequences, peppered with a lot of comedy in between. And in this regard Transporter 3 certainly sticks to the tried and tested formula.

As per usual the main story involves Frank delivering an unknown package in his ‘suped up black Audi A8 W12, but this time it isn’t he who is quite in control. Thanks to an exploding bracelet that keeps him trapped within a certain radius from his car and a rather uncooperative passenger beside him, he is soon racing from one death-defying situation to another, all at the behest of the rather deranged Johnson, a man who is intent on completing his own personal, corporate-sponsored mission at all costs.

Needless to say it is a race against time and Frank must once again ensure that the package gets delivered, he frees himself, and payback is delivered to those who would put him in this situation in the first place!

Only this time he is going to be breaking all the rules… even those of his own making!

The bottom line is if you enjoyed the explosive mix of fast cars, hand to hand combat, comedy and just some totally extreme (but stylish) stunts of the previous movies, then you will definitely enjoy this latest entry. Transporter 3 is extremely thin on its plot and story, but makes up for it with some ridiculously cool (and utterly impossible) stunts and action sequences, all aided by some impressively stylish editing and special effects. Its attempts at drama, romance and a little bit of philosophy is honestly quite laughable, but then again you can probably forgive that if you sit back and remember that this is primarily meant to be a popcorn-cruncher of a movie.

I must admit to not enjoying some of the fight scenes as much as I could have, thanks to the fact that director Olivier Megaton goes for that choppy, gritty and extremely shaky fight scene effects that were popularized first in Batman Beyond and has now slowly spread to other violent mainstream offerings. I didn’t enjoy it then and I most certainly don’t enjoy it now, but I accept that I might be the only one who thinks like this. The rest of the stuff is very stylishly executed though and Megaton makes good use of all the special effects at his disposal, expertly playing with the playback speed and effectively mixing in the action with the inspired and exciting musical soundtrack.

Jason Statham as per usual is absolutely bloody fantastic in his role of the hard hitting and fast driving Frank Martin, pretty much capturing your attention for the entire duration of the movie. He truly is the British version of Bruce Willis and the man is simply put, an action legend. (Oh and the girls will absolutely love the fact that he seems to lose his shirt, thereby showing off his ridiculously well toned torso, quite a bit throughout the movie.)

Robert Knepper is equally as brilliant in his menacing role as the borderline psychotic Mr. Johnson and indeed, it would seem that Knepper is now well and truly cast as the ultimate bad guy actor. In the supporting actor roles, Francois Berleand provides his usual comedic act as the enjoyable Inspector Tarconi while newcomer Natalya Rudakova is rather disappointing in her role as the love interest, dealing out a performance that is rather bland and wooden to say the least.

Oh, and she’s more freckled than a speckled egg, which leads to some interesting arguments as to whether she is in fact particularly beautiful or not.

Transporter 3 is a highly energetic, action film that isn’t shy to pull off some completely over the top, explosive stunts and shun reality completely in the process, but at the same time it provides a good comedic tone to temper all the violence and in the end manages to be a throughly enjoyable, stylish watch. It isn’t big on story though and it isn’t big on evoking emotion either, so if you are looking for something clever and with a fair bit of depth, then this most certainly won’t be for you. However if you like your movies simple, hard-hitting with just a bit of a dark comedy bite, then Transporter 3 most definitely makes for a fun watch.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.