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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Transporter 3

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Transporter 3 -   Once Again Jason Statham Delivers The Goods

Jason Statham is back in the third installment of Transporter, the financially successful action series franchise that established the actor as an international action star.  He reprises his role as Frank Martin, a highly paid courier for the criminal underworld who doesn’t ask questions, doesn’t look at his cargo, and is just focused on getting the job done. However, things change when the “package” in question turns out to be a sexy young female.

This time Frank’s mission involves delivering Valentina ( freckle faced red head, Natalya Rudakova), the kidnapped daughter of Leonid Vasilev (Jeroen Krabbe) the head of Odessa’s Environmental Protection Agency, from Marseilles, France to an undisclosed location on the Black Sea. It’s not a mission Frank chose, but was forced to do against his will.  The hook is that shackled to Frank’s wrist is a bracelet embedded with an explosive devise that is set to go off if he moves more than 50 feet from his car.  No question, this plot device is exploited to the hilt to create some intense and suspenseful life or death situations.

The only information Frank is given is a route to adhere to.  Trapped in his car that is equipped with a tracking device, every move is followed to insure that he doesn’t go off course. It doesn’t help that Frank’s human cargo is uncooperative, sullen, and convinced she is going to die.  To no surprise she has a change of heart once she sees Frank’s shirtless and hunky body engaged in battle with some goons that sets off a romantic connection.  After all, what woman can resist the silent but deadly type no one dares mess with?

In the days of the cold war, spy movie villains would hold the threat of hi tech and/or nuclear weapons over our heads as a means to take over the world. In the 21st century, it is all about the “Green” movement, and the threat of environmental damage or ecological disaster is what empowers the villains in both the recently released James Bond installment Quantum of Solace and this flick.


In the Transporter, we soon discover the reason for Valentina’s kidnapping is to coerce her father, who is about to address a conference on environmental protection, into signing a contract allowing eight ships harboring toxic waste to come into the country. The malevolent source behind all this is an American (not the usual European or Middle Eastern bad guy) named Johnson (Robert Knepper), a ruthless businessman who calls himself a pacifist, no less, and says he prefers to choose the path of least resistance to complete his objective.

Of course, Frank, as our hero, is not about to just sit back and go with the flow. Statham is in top physical form as the reserved, man of few words who lets his actions speak for himself. With his deep sexy voice and confident, fearless attitude, he is the real deal.

It’s cool watching him kick ass as a one man fighting machine, whether he is engaging in a martial arts style battle with the villain’s henchman or agents sent by Vasilev to intercept him.  Fast paced action sequences include a thrilling race by foot and then by bike after Frank is forced out of the car by a replacement driver; a high speed car chase on side roads through the countryside; and Frank pivoting his car on its side and driving between two eighteen wheelers.   Over the top or not, director Olivier Magaton (The Red Siren) taking over the duties from the previous two directors, Corey Yuen and Louis Leterrier, keeps the adrenalin going to create a first rate action adventure.

Now if only the filmmakers behind the latest James Bond installment could pick up a tip or two from this franchise, 007 fans wouldn’t be let down.  The Transporter fits the bill with everything that the new Bond is lacking including style, humor, and best of all, a charismatic leading man with cool screen presence. With Statham in the driver’s seat as the Transporter, never failing to get the job done, there is no mistaken audiences are once again taken on a memorable ride.

Feedback is welcome.