Thursday, November 20, 2008

This time Frank can't say no

In Transporter 3, Frank Martin (Jason Statham) has been pressured into transporting Valentina (Natalya Rudakova) , the kidnapped daughter of Leonid Vasilev (Jeroen Krabbé), the head of the Environmental Protection Agency for the Ukraine, from Marseilles through Stuttgart and Budapest until he ends up in Odessa on the Black Sea. Along the way, with the help of Inspector Tarconi (François Berléand), Frank has to contend with the people who strong armed him to take the job, agents sent by Vasilev to intercept him, and the general non-cooperation of his passenger. Despite Valentina's cynical disposition and his resistance to get involved, Frank and Valentina fall for each other, while escaping from one life-threatening situation after another.

"Transporter 3," the third installment of the popular franchise, leaves much to be desired as a movie, but it continues to display the appeal of Jason Statham as a viable action star, at a time when the genre desperately needs new actors. In this chapter Statham plays Martin as a courier assigned under pressure with transporting by car Valentina, the kidnapped daughter of Leonid Vasilev, the Ukrainian head of the Environmental Protection Agency. In due time, despite Valentina's cynical disposition and his resistance to get involved, Frank and Valentina fall for each other, while escaping from a series of risky situations. It's too bad that after a decent beginning, the movie devolves into a bunch of cliches. Is there need for a love affair in this sort of picture? Probably not, but the producers do not want to alienate completely the female viewers, even if they are well aware that what drives the series is the support of very young males, the primary target audience. The arduous journey--and the saga is a road picture--takes him from Marseilles through Stuttgart and Budapest, culminating in an exotic locale, Odessa on the Black Sea, a site seldom seen in Hollywood flicks.

Jason Statham is back as Frank Martin. For those who need a reminder, in 2002, Cory Yuen's "The Transporter" introduced audiences to former Special Forces officer Frank Martin. A skilled courier for underworld criminals, Frank is the quintessential man of action and few words. He is paid luxuriously for not asking questions, and never really looking at his cargo. Of course, his superiors know that things will change as soon as Frank discovers the contents of his "packages." This time the villian is the mysterious Johnson (mind out of the gutter folks, please!) played by "Prison Break" star Robert Knepper. He has kidnapped Frank to make a delivery for him when the previous driver that Frank suggests for the job fails. He has to pick up where Malcolm (David Atrakchi) left off when he literally comes crashing in on him. He awakes with a device on his wrist set to explode if he gets too far away from his car. His cargo is Valentina (Rudakova). She firsts comes of all dark and gloomy going on and on about how she knows that she's gonna die. Soon she perks up a bit when after making a stop by his friend Otto's (Timo Dierkes) place to take a look at the device on his wrist Johnson sends guys to "help him get back on track", where he ends up half dressed after taking care of all 5 of them by himself. In one of the best fighting scenes of the series he single-handedly takes down a "Giant"(Semmy Schilt). Slowly the two start to fall for each other along the way to their final desination in Odessa. Which then entails Frank to rescue Valentina from the bad guys who've taken her to make their escape by train.

The end result is Statham taking care of the bad guys and getting the girl. This wasn't meant to be dramatic or over the top funny, just a guy trying to do the job that he was paid to do without being killed in the process.It was good for what it was and seeing Jason shirtless is always a treat. LOL Although it wasn't great, it still satisfied me, but it only gets a 3 on my "Go See" scale.
WTF? Moment : During the big chase scene where another driver is brought in to drive Valentina , Frank chases him down on a bicycle to keep from being blown to bits for being far away from the car (crazy enough, but there's more). Once the guy stops outside of an obvious sweatshop window, Frank jumps through the window feet first into the car on the driver side smashing the window and then proceeds to kick the driver out of the car. Explain to me how in the next scene the window is magically restored? He's got the window up like the previous scene never happened.

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