Kevin's Review: Transporter 3 - Out of Gas
by Kevin Powers
November 26, 2008
Jason Statham as Frank Martin is probably the coolest, sexiest chauffeur in recent history, but no amount of stubble, abs or Audi adventures can save the recent installment of Transporter 3. Maybe it was the rising gas prices that left little money to upholster much of a story or hire a decent female lead. My bet is on the latter, because the Transporter series has never needed much of a plot, and Natalya Rudakova as Statham's companion Valentina is absolutely horrible - almost unbearable, in fact. While the first Transporter was a surprise hit that earned Statham some suave cred on both physical and vehicular fronts, the second favored the car more than Statham's physique. This time around, director Olivier Megaton pulls no punches in pulling off Statham's shirt and tilts the scales in the opposite direction, focusing on the speed of sex over the automobile. I think we can safely say that the Transporter has finally run out gas.
For those girls (or guys) that nevertheless want to belly up to Statham's, feel free. But know that you'll probably want to kill Valentina's character yourself before the movie is done. I would give the film a few more stars if only Martin had delivered a solid backhand at least once. (If you've seen the film, you know there is more than one deserving occasion.) Instead, he somehow falls for the freckles and broken English, resulting in some truly tiresome scenes. Eye candy on either side isn't unwelcome, but these scenes are really just awkward flirtation, which even goes beyond the stunted and lame attempts in Twilight.
Martin meets Valentina as a result of a job gone wrong by one of Martin's criminal peers. Swarthy crime boss Johnson (Robert Knepper) convinces Martin to complete the job, using distance-triggered explosive bracelets as insurance. Meanwhile, Knepper is blackmailing the head of the Environmental Protection Agency into allowing suspect ships to dock in his port; it's a sub-plot with environmental overtones that never really develops, nor seems necessary. As Martin transports "the package" around Eastern Europe, an expected high-speed chases ensue, and an unusual amount of time is spent on Martin and Valentina learning to like each other. Statham has a few noteworthy hand-to-hand fight scenes, which oddly all involve bad guys forming a circle around him. It's all show for sure, lacking any real suspense.
The automobile antics this time around stretch the realm of reality too far, even by Transporter standards. Sure, in the second film Martin was able to flip the car laterally to knock off an explosive attached to the car's underbelly, but the manner in which he escapes a particularly wet situation here is just ludicrous. Transporter 3 is a stunt man's dream, because that's pretty much all you're watching - well-crafted action, void of any tension or excitement. The film is apparently also one step up from the neighborhood theater (and maybe even that's generous) considering Rudakova and other cast-mates' abilities.
Beyond Statham's baseline appeal, the only other factor that makes Transporter 3 worthwhile is the lead villain, played by the devilish Robert Knepper. Most might remember him from TV's "Prison Break" as the Southern sadist T-Bag. While his accent is gone, his predatory stare and cold demeanor remains. With Knepper's appeal and the lacking state of other characters in Transporter 3, I found myself really hoping the bad guy would win. I doubt I spoiled much by saying that; it seems hard to spoil something that's stale and stalled to begin with. Some may still want to see it "just because" (as I did), but know what kind of a ride you're in for before getting into this car.
Reader Feedback - 21 Comments
no one gives a crap about this review. you saw the first two that means you saw this already.
Darrin on Nov 26, 2008
but can it play crysis?
Matthew on Nov 26, 2008
I wish I had read this review before going to the theatre. Jason Staham hotness couldn't save this mess, the plot was boring, the dialogue was embarrassing and the actress playing Valentina is so horrible I kept hoping she'd blow up already. I hope Staham made some cash off this crap and never again accepts another sequel on this series.
Isabella on Nov 26, 2008
Who cast this film? They hit a home run with Knepper and strike out looking with Rudakova !
790 on Nov 26, 2008
This film was incredible, incredibly horrible. The few words I managed to extract from the girls dialogue was something about salad dressing. The last two films gave action sequences that were exciting and fun, at least unique. This film lacked in every area. Script/Plot/Action/Aesthetics.
SmartGuy on Nov 26, 2008
Lmao, at least I'm not alone. I'm just glad I didn't pay to see it.
tzarinna on Nov 26, 2008
Lmao, this film ran outta gas in part 2.
Black Dynamite on Nov 27, 2008
"The Transporter" rules the rest sucks big time 🙁 didnt like the second installment, havent seen the 3rd yet but from what i have seen from the trailer it doesnt look any better than the second 🙁 the first one was really original well shot and fast paced with decent story and character building and was very fun to watch where has all this originality has gone to i wonder 🙁 but if i ever see it it would be to see Martin kick some serious ass
burak on Nov 27, 2008
I was hoping this film would be good. Oh well...
Film-Book dot Com on Nov 27, 2008
I knew Knepper would be the reason to watch this filth.
Angelo on Nov 27, 2008
Natalya Rudakova has so many freckles, it looks like someone shot her in the face with a freckle gun! That's the most clever thing I could think of while watching this turd burger. I fell asleep twice! That shouldn't happen during an action movie, should it?
Tom Brazelton on Nov 27, 2008
The Transporter was a great time but it's truly the best of the bunch and that's not saying much. Sucks because I think Staham is a good action hero. Crank is awesome.
smacky on Nov 27, 2008
Sorry, but I liked this film. It was a lot of fun. And 100,000 x better than that pile of crap "Transporter 2".
Film Fan on Nov 28, 2008
All I have to say is they should have just stopped after the 1st Transporter. It was good just the way it was. Besides the girl in the 1st one was hotter.
Mike Dee on Nov 29, 2008
The only way you can fix this mess, is by letting Cory Yue direct the 4th one, if theres another sequel. 1 and 2 are incredible, but the director in this one edited too much the fight scenes. In the 1st 2 movies you could see the whole action on the fighting scenes. And yes, Valentina sucks.
Javi on Nov 30, 2008
That female was annoying as fuck
TREY on Dec 1, 2008
much better than other transpoter movies
sohbet on Dec 1, 2008
Glad I ended up seeing Madagascar 2 instead of this. Definitely a Netflix rental, now.
AndyS on Dec 2, 2008
Well i though the movie was ok but Valentina had way to many freckles that it looked borderline disgusting.
emmy on Dec 3, 2008
I love frank martin and death race and transporter 3 were really awesome. Nice review Kevin.
Networking Hardware on Feb 6, 2009
Awesome movie and best of the Transporter series.
Adam on Dec 8, 2010
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