TRANSPORTER 3: More Stunts, Less Brain
TRANSPORTER 3 (action thriller)
Cast: Jason Statham, Natalya Rudakova, Francois Berleand, Robert Knepper and Jeroen Krabbe
Director: Olivier Megaton
Time: 102 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)
THE BUZZ: It is a bit of a paradox, really. As the action stunts in the Transporter franchise get better and more awesome with each sequel, the plot and its credulity get more and more ridiculous and stupid. Thus while 'Transporter 3' delivers its requisite car chases, bicycle and train chases and clashes, it falls short on logic and credibility.
But then again, to its fans, logic is immaterial just as long as they get their high...
THE SKINNY: Frank Martin (Jason Statham, pictured above) is 'persuaded' to transport Valentina (Natalya Rudakova), the kidnapped daughter of Leonid Vasilev (Jeroen Krabbe), head of the Environmental Protection Agency for the Ukraine, from Marseilles through Stuttgart and Budapest right to Odessa on the Black Sea - on what is called a 'mission'.
Aided by Inspector Tarconi (Francois Berleand), Frank has to contend with the goons sent by his employer (Robert Knepper of TV's Prison Break as Johnson), agents sent by Vasilev to intercept him, and the general non-cooperation of his passenger. Despite Valentina's cynicism and attempts not to get involved, Frank and Valentina fall for each other, while escaping from one life-threatening situation after another.
THE REVIEW: Since we all know for sure that our one-man courier service is not going to be harmed, much less killed even by machine-guns, there is no sense of danger in the stunts. Choreographed by the legendary Corey Yuen, many of the fight and chase sequences are a visual ballet, cheating the eye and boggling the mind with quick cuts and idiotic fast forwards. Statham delivers what is expected of him - as deadpan fighting machine - and the nubile Rudakova provides a fresh (and freckled) face to the franchise.
As usual, the scripters have also kept the women in the audience in mind, providing the obligatory romance between Frank and Valentina - after the mandatory mutual dislike for each other, of course. Still, for many Statham action fans, the car-on-two-wheels chase stunt should be worth the price of the ticket - and Statham's topless shirt fight scene is a bonus, especially for the ladies.
THE LOWDOWN: Join this chase for your adrenaline boost, but leave your brains at home.