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"Transporter 3"

Directed by Olivier Megaton.
Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.
Starring Jason Statham, Natalya Rudakova, and Robert Knepper.
Release Year:  2008

Review Date:  12/2/08


I don't think I have ever seen Gordon "The Professional" Stokes this angry.

As is my custom, I sat through the end credits of "Transporter 3" asking questions to see what he thought about the movie.  And, it wasn't that he didn't just not like this, he fucking hated it.  But, it was the passion with which he described how angry he was that made me wince; damn, I thought, this is the kind of thing that leads people to drive home angry and "accidentally" run over small children.

Make no mistake, friends--the first "Transporter" film was escapist entertainment, ridiculous, watchable, mildly amusing, good action sequences.  "Transporter 2" was bad, but it has maybe three scenes that absolutely must be watched to appreciate how far movies can take the term "extreme action."  While that sequel was bad, it was the kind of bad that was fun-bad, like any cheesy action movie that has stuff so silly you just have to believe the people who made the movie know what we know, that this horseshit is crazy.

In "Transporter 3", our man Frank Martin is back.  Martin (Jason Statham) is a former Special Forces guy who now goes fishing for fun, but he is dragged back into a life of driving Audis for cash when an American "consultant" (Robert Knepper) kidnaps Frank and forces him to drive a woman named Valentina (Natalya Rudakova) all over Europe in order to force an environmental official (Jeroen Krabbé) to sign paperwork that would allow eight tankers to drop hazardous materials in a bay near the Ukraine.  I think.

Oh, and one other thing--the "consultant" has rigged Frank's Audi with a sensor that will make explosives go off in a bracelet that Frank and Valentina are wearing IF either of them goes 75 feet away from the car.  The logic of this is great, but it would have been better if, say, any of the filmmakers paid attention to how far 75 feet really is.

The film is flat-out awful.  The action scenes fucking suck--fight scenes in this film and many others mimic the seasickness I experienced watching Jason Bourne fight anyone in any of those films--and the girl is absolutely atrocious.  Rudakova is such a poor actress that she makes her scenes tough to stomach; that, and she wasn't that sexy to me, but she is made out to be damn near the sexiest thing that Martin has ever seen.  The soundtrack features good music in the wrong order (other "Transporter" films had similar problems; this appears to be a Luc Besson thing); beautiful scenery is so underpopulated that it is shooting a movie on open roads.  (Imagine that!)  There are long stretches where we are forced to watch Frank talk to Valentina, not my idea of good times; Statham is still fun to watch in action but even he looks bored with this franchise.

"Transporter 3" is bad, bad shit...I still can't believe that no one has offered Statham the keys to a "Matrix" or "Die Hard"-like franchise, because the guy's got charisma.  As such, I'll have to keep enjoying him in shitastic films like this one!

Rating:  Hard Vice


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09