54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2009
Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is back and this time he is forced to transport Valentina (Natalya Rudakova), an objectionable young woman, across Europe by a group of villains who have fitted Frank and Valentina with explosive bracelets. If either of them move more than 75 feet away from Frank's car, their bracelet will explode.
Given all of the other reviews that I have read of "The Transporter 3", I went in to this film expecting to be disappointed and was pleasantly surprised when I wasn't. Although the script is not quite as good as Luc Besson's previous film, "Taken", this is more than made up for by the awesome stunts and martial arts sequences (choreographed by Cory Yuen, who was responsible for the action sequences in the previous two films). Two action sequences in particular, one involving Statham effectively performing a striptease while fighting half a dozen villains, and the grand finale on the train, are alone worth the price of admission.
One of the main criticisms that had been leveled at this film is that the heroine is distractingly ugly and annoying. Although Rudakova and Statham seem to have absolutely no chemistry between them at all and I did wonder why Frank Martin was even remotely interested in Valentina, she wasn't so annoying as to ruin the film for me. Valentina is meant to be objectionable, and keeping that in mind, I actually thought Rudakova did a good job of playing her. As for her looks, I didn't think she was bad looking, just different, and I actually thought it was nice to see someone who didn't look the same as every other Hollywood heroine.
As for Jason Statham, I am still not certain as to whether he can act or not, but who really cares. Statham became famous because of his personality and his martial arts skills and both are again on display. Sure this film is somewhat derivative of Statham's other film, in particular "Crank", but that didn't bother me, and it shouldn't bother other Statham fans either.
67 of 90 people found the following review helpful
Transporter 3's lead writer (Luc Besson) has a thing for redheads.
I came to this conclusion after watching Transporter 3. I'm a big fan of Besson's science fiction foray, The Fifth Element, and all I could think as I watched the slinky, thickly accented Valentina (Natalya Rudakova) was how Transporter 3 would have been so much better if it had been Milla Jovovich in the role.
That I was distracted by the stiff Rudakova's acting is a testament to how much the film insists on zooming in on her, letting her drone on and on in her broken English, and the endless patience that Frank Martin (Jason Statham) seems to have for what amounts to a rich brat in a miniskirt and heels.
Oh right, the plot. So anyway, Martin is a wheelman who does jobs with certain rules. These are all meant to ensure success in Martin's job as a wheelman. By the time we reach Transporter 3, every one of those rules has been broken.
And that's the problem. The rules made Martin interesting. In Transporter 3, Martin has become a walking parody of himself, fetishized by the director to strip away (literally) everything likable about him, only to replace it with beefcake shots of Statham with his shirt off, whip-cut fight scenes that don't let us see his martial arts prowess, and aggravating supporting characters whom the Martin we know from the first movie would have left on the curb.
The gimmick here is that Martin can't just run away from his job because a super-advanced device is connected to his wrist that will blow him up if he is more than 75 feet away from the car. For reasons that only make sense to movie villains, Martin is forced to drive Valentina to a variety of locations, during which they track him constantly.
That's right, the bad guys track Martin's every move. In fact, the movie is obsessed with keeping Martin in the car to the point that the entire universe seems hell bent on keeping him in it. Even the laws of physics are in on this cruel joke, which helpfully bends its laws to allow Frank to do ridiculous things like drive his car on two wheels, float it to the surface using air pressure from its tires alone, and land it on a moving train.
The generic villain Johnson (Robert Knepper) is a victim of the So Bads. As in, he's So Bad that:
... he kidnaps drunk college girls!
... he shoots his own men when they asks stupid questions!
... he's helping sneak toxic waste into Europe!
That's right, uber-villains can now hit a new low: they're not just mean to you, they're mean to the environment!
The movie just spirals from there. Valentina, patently unlikable, somehow seduces Martin, who doesn't show the least bit of interest in her. Given that the ransom picture of Valentina shows her in a schoolgirl's uniform, there's at least a ten-year difference between her and Martin. Ick.
There are so many logic fallacies that you have to wonder if Besson's just mocking his audience. Statham as Europe's answer to the Kung Fu martial artist is just plain awesome -- I loved him in The Transporter and was willing to forgive the silliness of Transporter 2 -- but this is too much. Frank Martin deserves better.
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Frank Martin: Do I look like a man who came half-way across Europe to die on a bridge?
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):
1. Frank Martin (Statham) has his fishing trip interrupted when there's a package to be delivered.
2. This time he's wearing a bracelet that's to die for - that is, once he and his car are more than 75 feet apart at any given time
3. Not one to learn from his last movies, he proceeds to break all his rules yet again
4. His package proves to be pretty, pouty, petulant and a pain in the Audi
5. This time it's the environment at stake
6. Usual impossible driving feats follow, plus Statham gets to take his shirt off (Would you, could you, on a train?)
7. Awkward romantic scene makes you wish they wouldn't
8. Rather predictable ending
Statham wears his Transporter role comfortably and stoically, Francois Berleand returns as Inspector Tarconi, Natalya Rudakova plays said package, while Robert Knepper oozes slime as the main baddie.
Good entertainment if you're into cars, slick driving and fast and furious action regardless of plot.
Rated: 3.5 stars
Amanda Richards, December 21, 2008
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2011
I find it extremely difficult to not enjoy a Jason Statham movie, which is why it is no surprise that I loved Transporter 3.
Jason Statham's fight sequences in this movie are just absolute fun to watch. My favorite scene is surprisingly a more quiet one, with the two main characters looking out over the scenery.
Overall, this movie that rounds out the trilogy delivers just as much fun as its two predecessors. Very enjoyable, very entertaining, action packed, fantastic driving and car stunts. Nothing to not like about this movie!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2013
I LOVE all of the transporter movies. Better...much better, than 007 movies. I also look for every Jason Statham movie I can find. They are so great....FULL of action...and what a fighter!!! He has all the moves. Amazing. I NEED MORE!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
People who like thrillers will be thrilled with this film. It is gripping without a moments let up, and there is much violence. A beautiful girl is kidnapped, and we later learn that she was taken to force her father a Ukrainian minister to sign a document regarding lethal waste products. Our hero is also captured and is forced by the criminals to bring the already kidnapped girl to the head criminal so that she can speak to her father and prove that she is still alive. They place a wrist band with explosives on the wrist of Jason Statham, the transporter. They tell him that if he moves a short distance from the car he is driving to transport the girl, he will be killed with a bomb. He tries and has another try to remove the band, but they are unsuccessful. Thus, he has to stay close to the car despite many events that would force others away from the car. The car goes over the rail into the sea. Someone forces him out of the car and drives off with the car and the girl. He needs to rescue the girl, but she is on a moving train. How can he do all of these things with the bomb strapped to his wrist? How can he save her? How can he fight, several times, against more than a half dozen armed men when he is unarmed?
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2008
Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is a transporter forced into doing a job he doesn't want. It involves delivering Valentina, the kidnapped daughter (Natalya Rudakova) of a politician, to Odessa. His employer is the villainous Mr Johnson (Robert Knepper), who is being paid to have the countryside of Ukraine opened to toxic waste pollution.
If the plot sounds ridiculous well it's implementation is even worse, as Martin fights off one gang of bad guys after another in a series of absurd and very boring martial art sequences. This flick resembles a video game more than a high quality action movie like the "Bank Job". Martin is like a super hero without any special powers or a low rent (very low rent) James Bond. It's all completely predictable and boring, even the sex scene with Martin and the annoying Valentina is lame. Obviously, this clunker is not worth the time or money.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2009
I have to comment on the poster art here. It shows Frank Martin(Jason Statham) packing heat in both hands. If memory serves, not once in the film does Martin fire a shot. There's also an irresistable babe on the cover but I've noticed that other reviewers have commented on Natalya Rudakova's looks. Other than that, "Transporter 3" is great!!! The makers of this franchise have latched onto a formula and run with it. They combine elements of Bond, "Die Hard" and "Speed" but infuse enough originality to avoid being derivative. I don't have enough superlatives for a flick that orchestrates a chase scene with the Stooges "I Wanna Be Your Dog". As for Statham, he's the real deal. He can quip like Connery and kick it like Arnold and Bruces Willis and Lee. I remember a local critic stating that the contemporary crop of Brits are on the wimpy side but methinks he's seen too many Orlando Bloom flicks and not enough Statham and Clive Owen. As for Natalya, looks aside, I was getting a strong Kate Capshaw a la "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" vibe from her. Not enough to ruin what I hope will be a long fruitful franchise.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2010
Movie - 4.0
I really like the Transporter franchise. Its B-movie nature from the mind and pen of one Luc Besson has always been an entertaining escapist romp for me. The series has always been quasi-serious, but often silly enough that we realize it's all in good fun. Whether Frank Martin is saving Chinese refugees or stopping an archetypal Colombian hitman from unleashing a deadly virus, he always does so in such style thanks in huge part to the cool cars he drives, his spiffy suits, and the always-welcomed martial arts choreography of Hong Kong legend Cory Yuen. However, Transporter 3 takes somewhat of a different road in terms of its tone. One of the things I noticed from the first time I saw the trailer was the cinematography. With that said, this 3rd installment is easily the darkest so far. Don't let that fool you, though. The film still has its campy elements and occasional cheese. We see Frank do his thing having to transport more human cargo, getting into situations where butt-kicking is required, make a few wise cracks, and even get some cool chase sequences in and out of the car. But the big difference here is the philosophical approach it tries to take as represented by the interaction of Frank and Valentina. Throughout the franchise, we've seen Frank as a man of rules and principles. Here, we see the opposite in a young, unabashed, free-living Valentina. I actually like what her character's purpose is in trying to open Frank up a little more as a person (like Lai in the first film), but I seriously wish they had picked a different actress. Contrary to the cute and perky innocence Shu Qi has in Transporter 1, I often had a hard time accepting Natalya Rudakova's performance. It's not the Ukrainian accent and broken English, or even the crazy amount of freckles that bring her down, it's the angst. Granted, rich and spoiled teenage brat characters usually are angsty, but refer back to Shu Qi's performance (which is unequivocally the same role), and the comparison should speak for itself.
Video - 5.0
It's sad that the first two films fell under the MPEG-2 encode when they were released as some of Fox's flagship titles. Thankfully, though, Blu-ray has come a long way since then, which is reflected in the video presentation given to us by Lionsgate. With the movie itself being very recent and the current availability of MPEG-4 AVC, we get an absolutely pristine picture. Colors aren't too vibrant, what with the darker tone and photography, but it's more than made up for by everything else. Black levels are among the deepest I've seen to date. Frank's suit, the sleek paint on his Audi A8, even the tread in the tires all carry a great level of detail and delineation between one texture and the next. Contrast is just right in keeping other image details visible, while still maintaining the film's gritty look. And while flesh tones do appear reddish, it's not nearly as bad as the first movie, and in my opinion, actually helps in accentuating some of the finer details such as the face-stubble and ripped muscles of Statham or the heavy eyeliner and freckles of Rudakova, even through that fine layer of theatrical grain. No image enhancements or manipulation are apparent either, making this a showcase BD.
Audio - 5.0
The interesting thing about this 7.1 DTS-HD track is its spaciousness. Normally, a typical sound design will have 3 elements: dialogue in the center channel, music and sound effects from the fronts and side, and LFEs in the subwoofer. Here, we actually have the sound design separated into 4 different channels individually: music from the rear and sides, sound effects from the front, dialogue in the center, and LFEs in the sub. As a result, it creates a very unique kind of immersion. One factor I've always liked in the franchise is the music, not so much the score (which still isn't bad), but the Euro-techno stuff playing in the background, which is displaced perfectly throughout the back 4 speakers. Dialogue is clear and never a problem from the center, though some viewers may find it awkward that the sound effects are limited to just the front of the sound stage. However, bass levels are surprisingly thunderous and help make up for that, particularly the thuds and thumps when Statham kicks a guy right in the gut. I don't think I've ever had a sound effect outside of an explosion or piece of machinery make a sound like that, which is pretty invigorating. Then of course are the cars, gunshots, etc. that also sound flawless just to top things off for an otherwise, reference track.
Extras - 3.0
Also a new addition from the previous Transporter BDs is the presence of some actual special features. It's not much, but the commentary from director Olivier Megaton, and the two behind-the-scenes featurettes are appreciated. Throughout his commentary, Megaton breaks down the overall filming process very well and makes the movie much more appreciable than I initially felt before giving it a listen. I just wish they turned a lot of his commentary into a more in-depth making of-segment as opposed to a vocal-only presentation. The "Real World Transporter" feature is interesting, but a bit of a downer. It essentially de-glamorizes the concept of Frank Martin's character and tries to instill this feeling of rough and tough, but with absolutely no benefits to the lifestyle whatsoever. The "Making of Transporter 3" is more or less what Megaton covers in his commentary, which I still think is a little short in length in itself. But then again, any kind of extras for movies of this caliber are better than nothing.
Overall - 4.5
I think this 3rd installment actually could've been the best of the franchise. It still carries enough of the B-movie campiness and charm, but takes it up a level by trying to make the atmosphere much darker. Unfortunately, the female lead doesn't quite make it as enjoyable for me as I would've liked, but still think it's a good movie for what it's worth. Can they make another one? Sure. But given the mixed levels of critical response and the fact that most movie franchises like to do things in 3s, I wouldn't be surprised if Statham decided to move on, if not for one more appearance as Chev Chelios, then at least beyond his role as Frank Martin into another action role. With reference A/V quality and a decent amount of extras, Transporter 3 comes recommended to fans.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2009
I like Jason Statham and have seen almost all of his movies. He does action movies very well and would have made a great James Bond. I enjoyed the first two Transporter movies and was expecting to enjoy this one. Unfortunately, I disliked Transporter 3.
One of the main reasons is the love interest, Natalya Rudakova, is not particularly attractive. Moreover, her accent got on my nerves almost from the start. I usually don't mind accents; in fact the love interest in the first Transporter film had an accent and I liked her, but this one got very annoying very quick.
In addition, the plot was too stupid. Its an action movie and I am not really expecting too much in the way of a plot, but come on! At one point in the movie, Jason Statham's character opens the bag he is supposed to be transporting and finds phone books and then realizes that the woman accompanying him is in fact the "package" that he is transporting. Well duh! Didn't he watch the first Transporter movie in which a woman was the "package"? Its stuff like this that made it difficult to watch - I can suspend disbelief only up to a point. Also, the gimmick of the movie, in which he wears a bracelet that will explode if he strays too far from his car is very reminiscint of his Crank movies.
Corey Yuen (choreographer for the Matrix) does a good job with the fight scenes, but even those weren't as inventive as the previous Transporter movies.