Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Includes ‘The Making of Transporter 3’ documentary; plus 4 Featurettes with audio commentary by director Olivier Megaton: Storyboard/Feature Comparisons; Special FX; Production Design; and Car Stunts.
IT’S A bit baffling to ponder just how Jason Statham’s Transporter franchise could have made it to three films and counting – and yet here we are once again for more brain-dead action and mayhem.
This time around, former Special Forces mercenary Frank Martin (Statham) is forced to transport a mysterious Ukrainian red-head (newcomer Natalya Rudakova) from Marseille to Odessa or face being killed by ruthless assassin Johnson (Robert Knepper, of Prison Break fame).
Finding himself inexplicably attracted to his newfound lady, Frank must also figure out what role she has to play in a global environmental conspiracy while keeping one step ahead of his dangerous new adversary.
Olivier Megaton’s film, based on another screenplay by Luc Besson, works during the action sequences but frustrates in just about every other department.
While embracing its stupidity at certain points, it also wants to be taken seriously at others and ends up turning what should have been a fun romp into an often quite ponderous ordeal.
The plot is ludicrous, the dialogue atrocious and the characters mere stereotypes and yet Megaton insists on spinning it out for much longer than is necessary.
On the plus side, the set pieces (including a fight in a garage and a bicycle chase) are well choreographed and suitably intense, while Statham somehow manages to emerge with his credibility intact. But Rudakova provides an annoying love interest and Knepper seems to think he’s in a far more serious movie.
Attempts to combine the OTT action with supposedly intelligent “green issues” and complex plot twists also don’t work and merely make the film appear more self-important than it really is.
The original Transporter was, admittedly, a real guilty pleasure of a movie – one that embraced its limitations to deliver some genuine thrills. Its subsequent sequels have, however, become less and less appealing and it’s well past time to put the brakes on the franchise.
Running time: 103mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: April 20, 2009