Transporter 3 Reviews
My biggest complaint has to be the video editing during the action sequences. It deserves its own paragraph. Why in God's name would anyone choose to use such a choppy, disorienting style? It was just like listening to a scratched CD skip, except much more annoying. The rest of the movie could have been fantastic, but I still would have hated it, just based on how completely stupid the editing was.
But don't worry, that's not the case. The rest of the movie is equally awful. The actress who played Valentina was certainly beautiful, but every single time she opened her mouth, awful came out. A terrible actress plus terrible dialogue is not a good combination. The story is so throw-away that they really shouldn't have even bothered with it, the fight choreography is a noticeable step backwards from The Transporter 2, and Jason Statham doesn't even make an effort to appear as though he's not in the movie solely to collect a paycheck. After seeing him in The Bank Job (where he actually got to ACT, and did a good job of it), it's particularly jarring to see him in such a one-note role.
I really hope that this is the end of the Transporter series. Jason is too talented to muck around in movies like this, and there are other mindless action films that have taken over this genre, now. I HATED this movie.
Thug: You have 10 seconds to change your mind.
Frank Martin: You have 5 seconds to move your hand.
Jason Statham returns once again as Frank Martin, an ex special forces soldier turned courier for questionable characters, as long as they follow his rules. While Statham remains the dictionaries picture of cool, this movie is unfortunately hurt by poor pacing involving a romantic subplot.
The plot this time around involves Frank being forced into a job that involves moving a package through Europe. Problem is, Frank has been fitted with a bomb on his arm that will explode if he ventures further than 75 ft from the car. The other problem involves a girl who also has a bomb on her arm and has to join him for the ride.
Frank Martin: Do I look like a man who came half-way across Europe to die on a bridge?
The evil dude behind this, played pretty well by Robert Knepper (as far as Transporter villains go), has a plot to force someone high in power to sign something for the sake of some plan involving chemicals... I don't know how to keep describing this, because I didn't really care.
Also returning is Francois Berleand as detective Marconi. In the first film he and Frank had an understanding. In the second they were kind of friends. Now in the third, they are actually fishing buddies.
New to the series is director Olivier Megaton, who lends the film a quality visual style that maintains the tone of the series, while having his own amount of flash to make it work well enough. The film series also continues to have its action scenes planned out by martial arts choreographer Cory Yuen. This provides for some very cool fight scenes and driving stunts for Frank to get into.
Frank Martin: Let me guess. You're the smart one.
Enormous thug: No. I am the big one.
Of course, being attached to a car also gives the Transporter a chance to continually transport, while getting into numerous car chases and car related action scenes.
There is one main problem, even with all the cool action that this movie has, which is actually (while still unbelievable) toned down from the second film, I can't get past how badly paced this movie is. Between the action scenes the movie is bogged down by boring plot and once again, another annoying female co-star. However, rewatching this movie, its not merely as much of a problem as I remembered, but it is still noticeable.
The movie is still quite fun, with Berleand's Marconi character being very entertaining and Statham still standing as the epitome of cool. This is more than I can say about the latest Bond film (which was more disappointing considering that the third Transporter film doesn't really lead to much expectation).
A lot of good action in a decent movie.
Frank Martin: Why is everyone so concerned with my rules?
Of course there is still some required and it doesn't help that we never really care about the plot too much. The audience will have assumed ("guessed" implies it is a mystery - it is too obvious for that) who Valentina is long before it is "revealed", while the details of the toxic waste are so vague as to be incidental. This vagueness may allow the film to focus on action but it has the negative effect of stopping the audience get engaged in the plot and actually end up questioning what it is doing. The device of the bracelet bombs adds a bit of an answer to many questions and, although silly, does add pace and urgency to the action at times and keep the characters close to the car - which in fairness is what the target audience want the script to do as well.
The action sequences are not as remarkable as I would have liked. There is plenty of action but it is delivered in a frantic way that suggests that it was shot one small move at a time and then edited together to make it look fluid. I preferred the action in the original as, although it is a bit MTV-ed, it did allow the camera to film what is going on in a stylish and quite fluid way. Here even enjoyable fight sequences lose their impact by how they are filmed and delivered and I took it as a big disservice to the effort and ability of Stratham to deliver it in this way. That said, it does still work as an action film and has plenty of big dumb stunts to amuse and distract.
As always Stratham is a great physical presence - he is very able and very impressive. Such a shame that the director stakes away so much of his good work. Here the script serves him the job of falling for his "package" and he doesn't really convince. Of course it doesn't help to have the Eastern European black hole of Rudakova next to him as she is so stiff and unlikable that I never bought anything she was involved in. Make-up instead of tears, "spoilt child" instead of playfulness, jerking motions instead of coyness - I could go on. Is she thin? Yes. Is she attractive? Yes. Is she young? Yes. Outside of these qualities that countless women have does she have much else that justifies her being in this? No, not really. Knepper is a good villain and matches Statham well by being all about the presence and the gruffness. Berleand returns as per series norm but mostly mumbles along pulling a plot together as he goes. Really none of them are helped by a script that, silly events aside, does have a few lovely dialogue screamers as well.
Transformer 3 is nowhere near good enough to be a platform to get a bigger audience but it is good enough to keep Transporter fans happy. In this regard I am not sure why Statham did it but he is good in it with most of his shortcomings being done to the script and the delivery. The plot and other aspects are mostly dumb but on the whole they are an entertaining type of dumb that come together to make a film that is enjoyable despite being all very so-so.
It's different to the sequels is awesome and action is something this movie doesn't skimp out on. While not as show-offish as the previous film, which had action in every-other-scene, this entry in the series definitely has its share of fist-fights and car-chases, explosions and gun-battles. Director Olivier Megaton takes over for Louis Leterrier and does a good job at maintaining the mood set by previous films, and he does great with the action.
At finally, this is the first time romantic interest for Martin is the kidnapped sexy young woman Valeninta played by Natalya Rudakova - she is fun-loving, spunky and very open to anything.
The second film proved largely disappointing, due largely to some cartoonishly unbelievable sequences that exceeded any suspension of disbelief. However, upon watching it again recently, it's still a somewhat enjoyable flick.
This third entry again falls far short of the original. Aside from one or two good fight scenes, I found it actually somewhat boring in parts, and I didn't care for the girl at all.
The biggest drawback, however, is the baffling inclusion of a gimmick far better suited for a Crank sequel than Transporter . It's unnecessary and completely out of place.
There are a couple exciting scenes that remind us why we liked Transporter in the first place, but like the last entry, this one pales in comparison to the original.