Directed by Olivier Megaton
After handing off a job to a friend for unclear reasons, Frank Martin (Jason Statham) gets pulled into that very operation and now must deliver a package that turns out to be an environmental minister’s daughter. Frank must save her in order to stop that minister from allowing in toxic waste that could contaminate most of Europe for 100 years.
Rules? What rules? They sarcastically reference the rules Frank has ignored since the first twenty minutes of the original, but there is no hint of Frank even acting as if he follows them here. The rules were a nice plot point in the first movie. Frank’s violation of his rules is what caused all of his problems and his entanglement with the businessman’s daughter. I would have liked it if they had stuck to those rules more throughout the film series. It would have made a nice gimmick running through them.
Jason Statham is back for the third and final time as Frank Martin in this fun and energizing movie. Even though Frank does not follow the rules and the rules do not even factor in here, that does not take away from the movie being enjoyable. We have high energy action, cool cars, and beautiful women.
In the first one Frank was a shady character who had a conscience he tried to run away from. Well-trodden territory but one that provides for interesting stories. In the second one he was still mostly that guy but taking a quiet job for a little downtime. In this film Frank is more in the mold of the rogue cop that does not follow the rules but always gets the job done than he is in that of a driver contracted by shady characters to transport them somewhere. I think they should have stuck with a shady guy with a conscience. He has become a hero rather than an antihero. It somehow makes the character less dangerous.
Robert Knepper is the nemesis Johnson here. He is always good as a villain and here is no different. He is creepy and intimidating and dangerous. His villains never fail to feel like a threat to those they are paired against.
Much like in the first film Frank must once again transport a young woman who is central to the plot. Valentina Tomilenko (Natalya Rudakova) eventually becomes a love interest and it is implied that she becomes Frank’s happily ever after. The actress is good eye candy and she does well enough with the part but the chemistry between her and Statham just is not there for her to the woman Frank ends up with. Personally I think it should’ve been kept platonic. This actress was plucked from obscurity by Luc Besson and dropped in this movie. Reportedly he paid for acting lessons over a period of several months. However how green she was does still show.
Valentina is supposed to be the daughter of a European minister (Jeroen Krabbé) but the accents do not match. Not even close. Jeroen Krabbé has a very distinct accent as does Natalya Rudakova and they are not even similar. It makes it hard to buy that they are related.
Tarconi (François Berléand) is much more friendly with Frank than he was in the first film or even the second film. I liked the adversarial yet friendly nature of their dynamic in the first film or even the reluctant friend angle of the second. Here Frank was more the wild friend in contrast to the stable pal of Tarconi.
The fight scenes are better in this film than in the previous films. I will give them that. They are a little better choreographed than before. Especially the opening fight scene where they show Frank kicking everybody’s ass after he refused the job that he is now forced to do. We also get a rather insane scene during the climax when Frank is going to save Valentina and drives his car on to a train. It is one of the nuttier moments in the series.
Transporter 3 is not a bad action movie, but at this point the series had ventured away from the premise of the original and that is unfortunate. The three rules that guided an antihero helped make this standout from other action films.
Not a bad action movie but the Transporter series lost something by venturing this far away from the premise of the first film. This movie is definitely for fans of Jason Statham and action aficionados. While not the best of the series it is still good and sure to please.