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Transporter 3 (DVD)

Starring: Jason Statham and Natalya Rudakova's freckles.

Rated: 15.

Story: Bad guys have kidnapped the daughter of a Ukrainian government minister in an effort to force him to sign contracts with an evil corporation that wants somewhere to dump its bubbling, green toxic waste. For some reason, they decide it's necessary to drag Frank Martin (Statham) out of retirement to ferry the girl about. Since he's no longer in the business of transporting dubious goods, they force him to cooperate by giving him an explosive bracelet set to detonate if he goes more than 75 feet from his car.

(Obviously, you're not so much going to have to suspend your disbelief for this one, as staple it to the ceiling...)

Comments: I guess alarm bells should have started ringing in my head about dodgy sequels involving Jason Statham as soon as I saw the trailer on the DVD for Crank 2. I mean, what? That's like a sequel to Titanic. It's simply daft.

Nevertheless, I was quite looking forward to Transporter 3. The first installment in the Transporter franchise is an all right action flick and the second is a completely mental succession of fights and stunts that roars along without taking itself too seriously. Sadly, number 3 is an uncomfortable mix of elements from both of them. The plot is as stUpid as number 2 but everything plods along at the pace of number 1. The laws of physics are regularly broken but to no great spectacle. Nothing makes sense. It's all something of a mess.

Even the whole premise of the series has changed. Frank has gone from villain to hero, and his three rules for pulling off a successful job are out the window. They're now enforced about as regularly as the Prime Directive, seemingly only there for other people to remind him he's breaking them. Transporter 4 probably won't even have a car in it.

Ho hum.

The movie isn't a complete disaster, since there are a few laughs and a couple of interesting stunt sequences. If you like action films, you'll find it enjoyable enough while lying on the sofa with a beer after a hard day with the kids. It just lacks both plausibility and style, making it for genre fans only.

Conclusion: It's hard to create an action film which is coherent, meaningful and spectacular. Making one which is none of these things seems pretty easy, though...

Explosions: Fewer than the number of conversations the main characters have about what they would like for lunch.
Frequency of Jason Statham finding a reason to take his shirt off: High.
Ludicrous moments: Several.
Number of handguns held by the two primary characters between them in the entire film: Zero.
Number of handguns held by the two primary characters between them in the main promotional image: Four.
Chances of Crank 2 being any good: Slim.

Rating: 3/5.


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