Transporter 3: review: poo, poo and poo again
Why does Frank Martin have rules? It seems he likes to come up with these silly restrictions just so he can break them on a regular basis! Yes, our favourite Vin Diesel wannabe is back again in the second sequel to a mediocre film at best. Of all of the series, I enjoyed the second one best (directed by Louis Leterrier) even though it was highly forgettable.
So Statham (as the unfortunately named Frank) returns with his Audi (after dumping BMW after the first film) and insists on bringing us a 90 minute car commercial with a couple of kicks, some God-awful flirting and a few messages. So why have I referred to it as excrement then?
Frank Martin puts the driving gloves on to deliver Valentina, the kidnapped daughter of a Ukrainian government official, from Marseilles to Odessa on the Black Sea. En route, he has to contend with thugs who want to intercept Valentina's safe delivery and not let his personal feelings get in the way of his dangerous objective.
Returning with Statham is François Berléand as Inspector Tarconi. He is always a little difficult to understand but is required to bring a little sanity (albeit eccentric) back into the proceedings. He follows along blindly as if he has forgotten to be a police officer since the first film and just trusts the dancing, kicking, driving lunatic throughout it all. However you cannot complain about the lack of realism in Transporter 3. Realism is a train that the Transporter series has never (and hopefully) will never take.
The film begins with a car chase (of course) but with one unusual twist: Statham is not driving! A few accidents and an explosion later we get to see the bracelets. This is where I made a heavy sigh as the plot seemed to be following in the path of Crank! Don’t get me wrong, I thought Crank was highly entertaining. However with Statham’s acting limitations (as perceived by my experiences) it is unwise to make a sequel to one film and then mimic certain aspects of another one... especially when a Crank sequel is in the works and Statham plays "gruff"...... and that’s about it really. The films all blur into each other when they are too alike. Thankfully Transporter 3 is very unlike Crank in that it is utter ....er...poo!
Let me elaborate on my fourth proclamation of excrement! It is not as stylish as Crank, the car chases have been badly sped up so as to make them look comical. The casting of a heavily accented Ukrainian female actress makes you wonder why they didn’t subtitle her scenes. I am all for Multi-culturalism but that doesn’t change the fact that I want to HEAR THE WORDS THAT ARE BEING SPOKEN to me! It is because I couldn’t hear what Valentina (the obligatory girl in the car) was saying that I started to notice other things....like the quantity of freckles she has....or her silly hair...or that fact that she is unable to act (at least in English anyway). She is also unable to flirt. Her "playful" scene is quite, quite painful. In another scene she witnesses Statham stripping as he fights (as usual) and is instantly turned on. Statham’s character looks worried about this and quite rightly so. If put in the same position, I would run straight back to the Crank 2 set and try the same trick on Amy Smart!
Crank 3...er.. I mean Transporter 3, along with being a 90 minute car commercial, is littered with so many unsubtle messages for the public; you’d think the government had funded it. Amongst these messages are the following: Don’t take drugs. Don't take a drink from a stranger in a nightclub. Don't drive like a twat unless you’re being paid to (and have an explosive bracelet on). Don't take ginger haired freckled girls with you on a road trip. Save the planet. Recycle. Use Audi’s and always wear a seatbelt. Is Luc Besson (the writer) really having a laugh at our expense? Amongst all of these unnecessary messages we are shown (through Social learning) that guns are great and when you can’t get what you want, kick a few people about a bit (or make them drive off a cliff).
The dynamic between Valentina and Frank is painful at best. She sits there; frowning, pouting refusing to reveal her name and only after an hour of waiting do they get to the character development. We know that Frank Martin is an emotionless fellow who has homoerotic qualities (last film he was greased up with oil "fighting" with a man). We do not know anything of Valentina, and after an hour we just don’t care!
I think you know where I’m going with this one. Transporter 3 doesn’t pretend to be anything but very silly. Sadly, despite being keen on very silly movies (I enjoyed Mamma Mia after all) this movie didn’t fulfil any of my expectations (and they were low). I for one hope that they put the Transporter to rest (perhaps with a fourth film with a tagline: "this time, he dies!"). The money cow has been milked dry and apart from a few teenage boys who like: Audi commercials, Ukrainian women with heavy accents and Jason (don’t call me Vin) Statham there cannot be many others in the world who will support the series after this disaster!
Rating: 2 out of 5