Thursday, December 04, 2008

Transporter 3 Movie Review By: Ian Albrecht

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Just so you know, my youngest son has decided to start posting his reviews of music and movies on Swanktrendz. Due to his young'ish age - Go easy on him (or Mama Bear will roar, heh!). Actually, I warned him he was on his own and he has to take the good with the not so good (responses to his writing). Given he is an official 'tween', I think he's doing all right. Enjoy!

Although I was initially excited at the prospect of seeing the third installment of the Transporter movie trilogy, I couldn't help but come away from the theatre feeling largely underwhelmed.

The main character, Frank Martin, (played by Jason Statham)

receives his latest assignment involving the delivery of a 'package' from "Marseilles to Odessa on the Black Sea." However, Martin's European 'delivery' is not without (predictably) at least one 'twist'. Furthermore, his usual 'delivery' method is hampered by his being outfitted with a wrist device that will ensure explosive death and destruction if Frank ventures beyond 75 feet of his vehicle.

Unfortunately, this 'twist' immediately brought to mind the movie, Speed, as the underlying premise/theme is similar. E.g.: If the main hero alters/changes his course, in opposition to the villain's projected demands, the outcome will be life-threatening mayhem.

I openly admit that Jason Statham did an excellent job despite being given an average script; containing some gad-awful dialogue, as well as plenty of clichés reserved for "bust 'em up/bang 'em up" movies. Moreover, Statham's acting should be noted for his having to respond to (with a straight face) his co-star, villain, Robert Knepper as Johnson. But more about Knepper, later.

Of course there is the standard love interest between the Prime Minister of Ukraine's daughter, and our hero, Frank. Despite how important her character is to the movie's central plot, (her role is played by Natalya Rudakova) ... I could NOT recall her character's name! I had to google both the character's and actor's name (which turns out to be Valentina). This does not bode well for any actor attempting to make her mark in the 'biz'. As well, despite her character's important addition to the plot, as well as to the "twist", Rudakova did not leave any impression that would make us

a) want to know her name or

b) care to learn who was performing the role

.François Berléand, once again played Inspector Tarconi, (Frank Martin's sidekick/closest thing to a best friend) and, once again, Berléand did a solid and consistent job at injecting some humour and the occasional dramatic urgency into an otherwise, lukewarm role.

The main villain was one of the 'worst' villains I've seen, and I did not buy into/believe in his character for one minute, I would label his acting as "old school"; as in, I would liken Transporter 3's villain to the original Joker from the black and white television series, Batman.

Overall, the plot for Transporter 3 was dull, been-there-done-that, and simply pathetic (with exception to anything being blown up, or any computer generated excitement.) Then again, these effects should be a 'given' in any action movie genre.

So, why do I say pathetic? When the audience is thrown subplots, or extra information that is even more unbelievable than the movie's, "Villain character's" acting... Well? What would you call it? For example, the police department and the government learn the villain's real name and location, and rather quickly, in the movie! At least in other espionage/action flicks, the bad guy will toss out a couple of red herrings to keep the 'good guys' and audience wondering what's going to happen next. I was able to predict this movie's plot and ending, but it's times like this when I hate to be right.

I guess the most intense guessing, wondering or predicting I did during the 90 minutes was... trying to figure out when the movie was going to end?

Is this movie worth spending cash at the box office, or is it a wait-for-the-DVD type of flick? Definitely a wait for the DVD, as it is the most disappointing movie of the trilogy and will, no doubt, go straight to video within three months. 1.5/5 (and the half point was strictly for the guns, explosions, and computer generated effects. And, 1 point to Jason Statham for doing a good job in a stinker of a movie).

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