It’s hard to fathom how a series that loves mindless action could go this far astray. Yet, here’s Transporter 3 in all of its miserable, incomprehensible glory. Fans of the previous two films should be advised to stay some distance from this potentially final film in the series, for whatever exciting fun the predecessors brought has been extinguished.
The initial set-up to this entry in the franchise is confusing, poorly shot, miserably edited, and at times incomprehensible. It doesn’t get any better from here either. The story, which sloppily involves a Russian politician striving for environmental policies, an unnamed woman, and Jason Statham, literally goes nowhere. Characters are tossed onto the screen for mere seconds before being replaced with an image of someone else also involved in this mess.
As the film opens, audiences are treated to a boat filled with unknown toxic chemicals that can kill immediately. That boat disappears for the next 90 minutes of screen time as if it’s irrelevant to the story. Yet, it’s critical to this misguided plot that exists purely to create a reason for Statham to get back into form.
Of course, you’re not walking into a Transporter 3 for its plot development but for the action sequences. The first film had the memorable oil brawl, the second a classic hose fight, and now fans are given… well, nothing. The few fights are mundane and unimaginative, devoid of the creative absurdities people pay to see.
To make matters worse, it’s impossible to even appreciate the choreography here. It’s commonly stated that quick edits were made for the MTV generation. This movie is edited so fast the generation it’s made for doesn’t even exist yet. Whether it’s the fights or the car chases, it doesn’t matter. They both have “blink or you’ll miss it” qualities, and that’s in no way an exaggeration.
Screenwriter Luc Besson has returned, and to his credit, he does break down Statham’s Frank Martin character. Inserted for this purpose is newcomer Natalya Rudakova, who looks an awful lot like a red-headed version of Kate Nauta from Transporter 2. The budding romance does open up Frank Martin as somewhat human, but unfortunately it’s also incredibly boring. The constant talk about food, dining possibilities, and general antics are simply not entertaining. At 100 minutes, the film feels well over the two-hour mark, and that can be directed back onto this slapped together love sub-plot.