Director: Olivier Megaton
Cast: Jason Statham, Francois Berleand, Natalya
Rudakova, Robert Knepper, Jeroen Krabbe, Alex Kobold, David
Atrakchi, Yann Sundberg, Eriq Ebouaney, David Kammenos, Silvio
RunTime: 1 hr 40 mins
Released By: GV & Festive Films
Rating: PG (Violence)
Official Website: http://www.festivefilms.com/transporter3/
Day: 1 January 2009
A superb cast, suspense, action, adventure and romance against a backdrop of fast cars and beautiful scenery in the third installment of the Transporter franchise.
Jason Statham (Collateral, Snatch) stars as Frank Martin, the daring deliveryman pressed back into service from his retirement on the French Riviera. Robert Knepper (Prison Break) is the ex-Delta Force operative trying to keep Frank chasing shadows, while Francois Berleand (Tell No One), plays Tarconi, the gastronomic French detective, who provides invaluable support. Sultry Slav newcomer Natalya Rudakova rides shotgun and eventually persuades Frank to loosen his tie.
From the Riviera to the Baltic Sea, via Stuttgart and Budapest, Frank races to dodge ruthless hit men, outwit a criminal mastermind and prevent an ecological catastrophe.
In Tropic Thunder, there was a running gag on how action movies could spawn 5 or 6 sequels when the original gimmick had already been milked dry. Transporter 3 felt like that joke. The ultra professional driver had already driven one too many miles for his mileage.
Based on the trailer, it looked as though there’s something new to this latest installment to Jason Statham’s Frank Martin Transporter franchise. The first one had him transporting an unexpected and very Asian feminine cargo in his car’s trunk, the second one had his ferrying a kid who got kidnapped and the third one had him literally stuck with his car while on a mission.
Technically it’s a repeat of a case of kidnap which the antihero had to be the hero again. The supposedly technology advance method of locking someone to certain area of function had been done many times before and it’s getting a bit stale in here.
What made the matter worse was how redundant it presented the Transporter in this movie. In a self slapping way, the film actually had the villain declare that any bloke could do the job that assigned to the professional Transporter. It was a set up for a 'Crank' style type of car chase but it also opened a can of worms for those who are thinking about plotline.
Thinking beyond the context that the film had presented and after digesting the revelation, there is really no need to hire the Transporter for this job. Since the film didn’t made an effort to explain if the 'cargo' had been tracked, it doesn’t make a lot of sense why the “cargo” need to be constantly on the move either. Keeping the 'cargo' secluded in some remote area, guarded by some thugs would be more effective.
Hiring this professional for the pointless job not only endangers the villainous plan, it also requires a lot of manpower to ensure the professional does what he is being told to. Which make it even more pointless isn’t it? It is like an awful stupid notion to go all out to attempt something that is highly potent to backlash. James Bond’s Casino Royale made the point all so clearly, it’s the simplicity that the most effective.
Speaking of James Bond, this film also made the classic silly villain mistake and that’s assuming the hero will be dying from the dire situation that the hero is in. Haven’t we seen this impractical scenario before?
Then there’s this problem with the chemistry between the leading man and his woman. Right from the introduction of the lead female character, a rather famous radio DJ who sat beside me made a joke about her name being 'Freckles'. Quite a spot on as it’s really hard to fathom her charms or asset that makes her a good leading role in such film with her copious amount of freckles. Even beyond her freckles and heavy usage of eye liner, it’s still very hard to relate to anyone who could find that attractive. The film also makes very little effort to create a believable scenario for both characters to have any romantic chemistry.
Even though the expectation had been lowered for this action genre film, the manner that the plot had been slip slopish patched together was dreadful. It’s hard to believe the likes of Luc Besson would come out with such a story that’s not well thought out and action flick that repeating on what had already been done before. Personally it’s a franchise that should be put to a halt, especially if the filmmaker couldn’t come out with any new mission for the Transporter to work on.
(Please retire this franchise at 3)
Review by Richard Lim Jr