Last night we went to see Transporter 3. It was a film I’d be wanting to watch after enjoying the spectacular first movie and passable follow-up. I was a little worried about whether it was any good because things were getting a little “silly” in Transporter 2 – like when Jason Statham drives his car off a multi-storey car park, into another one, spins it 6 times through that car park, and finishes dead stright against the edge of the un-finished car park.
So, we entered the cinema hoping for the best. Now, I have a problem which I may have mentioned before. I’m a bit anal about details – especially in films. Stuff has to be right. You can’t just see an actor get into a red car and then suddenly have them driving a green car in the next shot. I also have a problem with “believability”. Sure, I’m prepared to disengage my brain to watch certain action movies and I was fully prepared to do that in this movie to some degree, but it can’t step over my “downright stupid” line.
I nearly walked out. This is the worst movie in the “Transporter” trilogy. It’s badly edited, badly written and some of the actors are a joke. I’ll go through a few points…
Jason Statham is back as Frank Martin. He’s kidnapped and wakes up with a bracelet attached to his wrist. This will let him roam up to 75 feet from his car, but no more else he gets blown to bits. His mission is to drive around and visit various GPS location given to him by the evil baddie who has also removed all the guns and kit from Franks’ car. Oh yeah, and in the car he finds some gormless-looking woman who only seems to have one facial expression.
First Frank decides he must get these bracelets off. He visits a random mechanic who he obviously knows in a shed somewhere. The baddies get wind of this as they’re tracking every movement and send a large gang of thugs to “deal” with Frank and get him back on track. In steps an assortment of guys who threaten to smash Frank to bits. At this point the Director thinks that mirroring the exact same scene from the second film is a great idea idea, but this time we miss nearly all the action as each punch is cut just before contact. Each kick is edited so that we either see the build-up or after-effects, but nothing else. After losing his shirt (one for the girls in the audience) he looks around at the dozen-or-so wounded thugs. At this point some really big guy turns up. He’s like the end-of-level baddie on those Mario games. He instantly throws Frank through a wall. No, no a wall of plaster – a big brick wall. Big-ass breeze block. Magically Frank manages to get straight back up from this, even though he’s left a Frank-sized hole in the wall. He disables the huge 9-foot-high monster by knocking him into a repair pit. They make good their escape – bracelets still attached.
So, we’re in Europe. Remember that. Europe. The GPS locations from the baddies include Budapest and.. err.. Bucharest. Hmm.. that must’ve taken the writers minutes to think of. We, as the audience, are all eager for a good car-chase scene and it doesn’t take long. Frank and the girl stop at a petrol station and the girl decides to take some drugs (we find out here that she was kidnapped from a club in Ibiza). She then trots off into the petrol station shop, which is about 5 metres away from the pump. Somehow, on the way to the toilet inside, her bracelet goes red and she can’t make it to the toilet without getting blown to bits. She decides instead to do her business on the floor. Nice girl.
Whilst all this is happening a black Mercedes appears and Frank gets her back in the car and both cars tear up a long country road somewhere in Europe. This is where another problem comes in. Some idiot decides to speed up the film. I hate this – the brake lights flick on and off like strobe-lights and other vehicles (including a Citroen ZX) seem to be doing about 100mph as they’re over-taken by the Audi and Merc.
OK, I’ll try and ignore this and get stick my brain into neutral. It’s not a problem. Frank then spots two trucks on the horizon. Y’know the sort – big, long lorries. Now, for some reason these lorries are driving side-by-side. It’s not known why they’re doing this on a quiet country lane, especially as several shots have clearly shown the two-lane road allowing traffic to flow in both directions. We can only assume that this is some sort of insane overtaking manouvre by a truck-driver who’s had too much coffee. Anyhow, after dodging more cars (which are coming straight towards them and have therefore avoided the trucks somehow) Frank decides that he must get past them. He does so by driving on two wheels between the trucks. How he does this I’m not entirely sure, because the guy in charge of editing this movie has snipped that bit too much and I can’t remember. Anyhow, he drives on two wheels and manages to squeeze between the two…
Hang on a minute.. Two American trucks? Complete with long bonnets and massive sleeping sections? On European roads? Well, sure – there might be two imported American trucks somewhere in Europe.. possibly more… but two right next to each other on the way to Bucharest ?
Hmm.. I think this bit was filmed in America then.
OK.. perhaps I can ignore that too.
Next, someone in the black Merc (to be fair, I can’t remember if this was before or after that scene, I was beginning to get dizzy with the editing) starts to shoot at poor old Frank in his Audi. Every shot misses, despite the fact that they’re bumper to bumper.
Eventually the Merc crashes off the edge of a cliff and explodes into a ball of fire. Frank gets out the car and takes a look at the package in the boot – it’s full of telephone directories. At this point he realises that the “package” is in fact the dumb-looking woman and throws one of the telephone directories onto the ground in disgust. At this point the “one facial expression only” woman in the car decides she’s in the mood for a bit of afternoon lovin’ and takes Franks keys. She suddenly goes all playful (due to the drugs, we presume, as she’s not really said or done much up to now). Amazingly she manages to walk much further than she did in the petrol station without anything happening to her bracelet. Frank, despite his efforts, is unable to grab the key from her as she holds it aloft.
Hold on.. this is the guy who’s just defeated about 20 thugs and a bloke who was three times his size – yet he’s unable to grab the keys from her?
This starts turning into a farce as Frank, who’s in an obviously bad mood due to all the bullets being shot at him, is seemingly unable to jump high enough to get the key out of her hand. It’s also at this point that you notice the light failing slightly – I’m guessing that this shot had to be filmed over a couple of days as the sky goes from cloudy to brilliantly clear randomly. It’s also at this point that you notice the Audi in the distance and the telephone directory – it’s on the ground next to the car where Frank threw it, however it seems to have a life of its’ own. In one shot it’s right next to the boot, in the next it’s a good 6 foot away and to the left. This gets almost hilarious when the camerra switches between Frank and the girl in a conversation and the sky and lighting changes along with the position of the telephone book every couple of seconds. It’s a glaring continuity error.
The film goes even more insane after this, with huge American Humvee’s plodding around after Frank in one scene (hey, we’re in EUROPE.. EUROPE PEOPLE)..
After this I start to lose interest. At one point the baddies have had enough of Frank so they send someone to drive off in the Audi. Somehow Frank manages to catch up on a BMX bike and flies into the drivers window, kicking the baddie out of the other side. Sure, it breaks the windows but at least he’s got his car back and he’s not splattered all over the local town. At some point this window gets magically fixed as, later on in the film, Frank gets blocked in on a bridge. The car is pointing towards the railings – he has only one option. Despite the fact that it’s an incredibly narrow bridge and he has around 2 feet of road he manages to get enough speed up to break through the railings and into the water below.
Down under the water Frank is inside the car. It’s filling rapidly with water, but he manages to make a PHONE CALL whilst under the water. I could be mistaken here, but I’ve never known radio technology to be very successful under water, especially when you’re under the water and high up in the mountains. Somehow though he manages it, then breaks the rear window in his car (I guess the other window got fixed at some point) to get out. He then opens the boot, takes out the bag containing the phone books at uses the air from the tyres to inflate it. Oh yeah, and he also breathes some of the air so he doesn’t, y’know, drown. Magically his car floats back to the surface and he gets towed out.. ahh – at last, a bit of realism in the film.
All in all, a totally rubbish film. If you’re a fan of the Transporter films give this one a miss and watch the first one again, because this is appauling.