Wed, Nov 26, 2008 (midnight)
Does anyone remember Men at Work—a really stupid movie about a politician who’s murdered so that some evil industrialist can dump toxic waste, only to be thwarted by two garbage men? Well, Transporter 3 is the same movie, except here the evil party is thwarted by action hero/delivery guy Jason Statham, instead of Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez.
There’s no reason to go over the finer points of the plot, because that would only assist people in poking holes through it. And while the plot is ludicrous, that doesn’t mean it’s bereft of fun. The hook in the latest Transporter movie is that Frank Martin (Statham) is a begrudging courier, because if he ventures more than 75 feet beyond his delivery vehicle, an exploding bracelet will nullify any chance of there being a Transporter 4. The best sequences in the film play off this gimmick, whether Frank is chasing after his stolen car on a bicycle or following his ride to the bottom of a river at the risk of drowning.
Unfortunately, Frank isn’t alone. Riding shotgun is his sidekick/love interest Valentina (Rudakova). She’s the daughter of the politician that the evil industrialist is trying to sway. And her broken English dialogue is laughably close to “Me Tarzan. You Jane.” She has so little real chemistry with Statham that Valentina has to be under the influence of drugs for it to be believable that these two road-trip companions could ever get close.
Not that Statham isn’t sexy. For a guy suffering the intermediary stages of male pattern baldness, he does a remarkable job of appealing to both men and women. He does the Clint Eastwood/Bruce Willis thing of whispering his macho lines, and manages to kick ass while consistently losing his shirt. In fact, Statham disrobes in action scenes so often, you could assume he’s getting paid by the ab.
If you’re looking for effective over-the-top fight scenes, Transporter 3 won’t disappoint. Statham is arguably the most charismatic current Hollywood action hero. But if you’re looking for any more than that, Frank Martin won’t be delivering that package anytime soon.