Frank Martin, played by international star Jason Statham, has a new assignment he’s forced into in this third installment of the high-octane action film series. You can get a single-disc edition, a two-disc “fully loaded” edition and/or Blu-ray edition. This review covers the two-disc set, which provides buyers a second, digital, copy of this film.
This time, Frank doesn’t get a choice as his in-demand, successful reputation works against him…initially. Frank finds himself forced into delivering a girl named Valentina, played by Natalya Rudakova. Valentina accompanies Frank on a cross-country trek as his antagonist, simply named Johnson (Robert Knepper), gives him updated routes through various technology gadgets. Johnson has also equipped them with explosive bracelets that will detonate if the pair venture too far from the car. Frank must stay on the move both to avoid the police and prevent the bracelets from going off. Knepper has a great screen presence and acting skills plus some nice fighting moves near the end.
The action sequences mainly stem from Johnson's attempts to keep Frank on track to deliver the cargo, especially when Frank visits his friend Otto (well played by Timo Dierkes) for some technical assistance. “With you it’s always complicated,” Otto says to Frank. This sequence features a great fight between Statham and a very large gent named Silvio Simac. Simac also awakens Valentina’s romantic interest in Frank, one of the film’s weaker points mainly due to the lack of chemistry between Rudakova and Statham.
Francois Berleand returns as Inspector Tarconi and gets several scenes with Statham, (especially the boat scenes, which probably give Statham a well deserved rest). Tarconi doesnt get much character development beyond supporting Frank’s off-the-book exploits and contacting the bad guy’s victim, a Ukranian government official named Leonid Vasilev, played by veteran actor Jeroen Krabbe.
Not many plot twists, but a wider scope, blazing stunts and action sequences have plenty of great turns to keep you entertained. Frank handles the expanded challenges very well, though the adventure is weakened due to the villain’s shaky plan/leverage against the diplomat (involving contracts). But, again the action is amazing, especially a chase sequence incorporating with a bicycle.
Statham has become an incredible physical actor and filmmakers wisely showcase his talents instead of using several stunt doubles. Filmmakers also inject more realistic action and fewer special effects, compared to the second film in the series.
Screenwriter/producer Luc Besson teams with his usual partner Robert Mark Kamen on the script, as director Olivier Megaton helms the action and is featured on the audio commentary. Megaton is the only one featured on the audio commentary, which is a bit of a disappointment (additions of Besson, Kamen and Statham would’ve been better).
Megaton mentions time constraints a few times, but every film had limitations. Maybe a director’s cut with deleted scenes could be delivered later, unless they didn’t get time to film them.
The DVD includes several featurettes and a nice related special titled “Special Delivery: Transporters in Real Life.” In that extra, military veterans and other experts weigh in on their past, present and future definitions of a transporter’s duties and overall purpose/impact in the world.
Storyboards, action sequences, production design and visual effects are covered in the other decent featurettes. A solid purchase for action fans and rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, some sexual content and drug material.