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Transporter 3 Is Strictly Straight-to-Video-Style Fare

Transporter 3
Directed by Olivier Megaton
Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Lionsgate, 2008

In the effort to make an exciting action picture, the filmmakers of Transporter 3 forgot that just because you surround one badass with a circle of bad guys, that the old rapid kick, punch, throw action scene was exhausted long ago and is now extremely lame.  And also, tacking on a love story with an un-sexy seduction scene that takes forever puts it into late-night cable territory, but not the good kind where wood can be sported.  It’s more like that unwelcome arrival of Leprechaun 4: In Space after you fell asleep watching Scanners or something.

After some inane chatter on a fishing trip between Frank Martin (Jason Statham) and his friend, Investigator Tarconi (Francois Berleand) about Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Frank finds himself thrust into action again (and this after he retired!) when some dude crashes into his house carrying a freckled blue-eyed redhead named Valentina (Natalya Rudakova).  Valentina was kidnapped by this bad guy named Johnson (Robert Knepper) who wanted Martin for the job of transporting her but had to settle for someone not as good.  Johnson plays to win: he puts these proximity-sensor wristbands on his transporters so they don’t leave the car, or they blow up.

Now, why has this girl been kidnapped?  Well, it has something to do with a Ukranian prime minister (Jeroen Krabbe) who wants to make decisions that protect the environment, but lobbyists wanting him to allow toxic waste to be dumped wherever they please are playing hardball and have hired Johnson to do the dirty work.  But then, curiously, Johnson hires someone else to do his dirty work.  There’s really no reason why Johnson needs anyone to do this job, but as they say, there would be no movie if he didn’t. 

So Frank carries Valentina across Europe, being tracked and unable to leave the car.  This plot point is the best part of Transporter 3: It leads to a scene where Frank has to stay within the proper distance of the car, chasing it down on a bike, when he is “fired” by Johnson, all to the tune of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by The Stooges, which was featured in Statham’s first film, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.  It also leads to the most ridiculous (but still fun) action scene where he has to burn rubber on top of a train to get to another section of the train.  These two scenes are the only redeeming qualities of the film.

Otherwise, you’re getting those terrible “one guy surrounded by many” scenes, and the scene where Valentina, who is one of the most annoying love interests ever in the history of film, somehow seduces the hard-boiled Frank Martin into kissing her and falling in love, even though she is a douchey chick.  Martin needs to remember one of Murphy’s Laws: Never sleep with someone crazier than you.  I’m serious…Valentina’s seduction is one of the most boring, sleepy scenes you will see in a movie that made it into theatres.  I am perhaps exaggerating a bit much, but man…snoring was an option.

This is pretty awful.  I would only go to this under the most dire of boring days.

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