Frank Martin (Jason Statham) specialises in high-risk deliveries and now he is forced to take on a job to transport a couple of bags and a Ukranian red-head called Valentina (Natalya Rudankova) from Marseilles to Odessa via Budapest and Bucharest. His employer Johnson (Robert Knepper) forces Frank and Valentina to wear high-tech bracelets around their wrists, which will explode if they venture too far from the car.
Review by Louise Keller:
The good thing about Transporter 3 is that you know exactly what to expect. There's reluctant hero Jason Statham with his impressive six-pack and understated manner, a deadly villain backed by a bunch of thugs, exotic European locations, car chases, hot action and a plot about toxic waste and the environment. And of course there's a girl (a feisty, freckled red head who wants sex before she dies). A highlight for me is the return of François Berléand as the French Inspector with the droll sense of humour. Apart from the frenetic, choppily edited action scenes which don't allow us to see what is happening, this is good escapism and delivers precisely what it promises.
After an opening sequence involving a freighter, toxic liquid and an accident, we meet Statham's Frank Martin fishing from a dinghy with his old Inspector pal Tarconi (Berléand). Theirs is a laid back friendship based on a dry sense humour which continues in instalments throughout the film. There's drama, action and violence before Frank is recruited to drive his black Audi to deliver Valentina (Natalya Rudankova), his latest package, the unpredictable red head with eyes the colour of smoke and mischievous, heart-shaped face camouflaged by freckles. 'Am I in heaven?' she asks when she opens her eyes and sees Frank. 'You're deep in shit,' is his prompt reply. As the pre-programmed GPS leads them from Marseilles to Budapest, Bucharest and Odessa, she fantasises about the food in each city: veal goulash, Sacher Torte, Chicken Kiev and Bouillabaisse. Robert Knepper's villainous Johnson has them locked into high-tech bracelets that restrict how far they move from Frank's Audi. The black Audi performs incredibly - it squeezes between two long-load trucks on two wheels, dives into a river from a bridge and races on the top of a speeding train as if it were a runway. But it must be said it does not perform too well when stolen and Frank successfully keeps abreast - on a push bike.
Rudankova was allegedly discovered by Luc Besson (who co-wrote the script) as she crossed a New York Street on her way to work at a hair salon. With her bright red bob, she is fleetingly reminiscent of Besson's ex-wife Milla Jovovich and there is no question that her Valentina brightens up the action. She's a wild card who pops a pill, swigs on vodka, pees on the floor and wants to be kissed at inappropriate times. Whether or not there's credibility in the strip before sex scene in the middle of nowhere (Frank does the stripping), is beside the point. It's all part of the Transporter-franchise style entertainment. By the way, Frank gets to break a few of his rules in this third instalment in the series, and although it may not be quite as good as those that came before, I had fun in this high octane action adventure in which the immaculately dressed Jason Statham continues to be good company.
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TRANSPORTER 3 (M)
CAST: Jason Statham, Natalya Rudakova, François Berléand, Robert Knepper, Jeroen Krabbé, Alex Kobold, David Atrakchi, Yann Sundberg
PRODUCER: Luc Besson, Steve Chasman
DIRECTOR: Olivier Megaton
SCRIPT: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Giovanni Fiore Coltellacci
EDITOR: Camille Delamarre, Carlo Rizzo
MUSIC: Alexandre Azaria
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Patrick Durand
RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Icon
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 5, 2009
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