Share Article:
Transporter 3 (Review)

Transporter 3 (Review)

A guide on how not to make a film.
Feb 5, 2009
Our Rating:
Your Rating:
click to rate!
VN:F [1.9.12_1141]
(32 votes)
Transporter 3 (Review), reviewed by Anders Wotzke on 2009-02-05T17:32:16+00:00 rating 0.5 out of5

I’m not sure what moviegoers did wrong to warrant a sequel to 2002′s mediocre action film The Transporter, but it somehow has happened again with Transporter 3. Apparently, there must be an assortment of lost souls out there willing to waste their money to watch this drivel, otherwise Lionsgate would not have so willingly wasted their money to make it.

When professional Transporter Frank Miller (Jason Statham) is pressured into working a delivery for a man known as Johnson (Robert Knepper), he is forced to break his first rule; he only works alone. Along for the ride is a Ukrainian girl by the name of Valentia (Natalya Rudakova), whom also knows little about the job at hand. What they do know is that they can’t leave the radius of the car; doing so will trigger an explosive device strapped to their wrist. With little choice but to follow Johnson’s directions, Frank gets acquainted with his passenger and discovers that she is more important to the job than he originally thought.

Instead of expressing my discontent in a standard review format, I’m compelled to use Transporter 3 as a short “what not to do” guide when making an action film:


2008 transporter 3 0081 247x165 custom Transporter 3 (Review)

1. Narrative cohesion is something necessary to any film, be it a profound period drama or a mindless action romp like this. Transporter 3 introduces you to this subplot about an offshore container ship full of toxic waste, only to then spend the next hour following Jason Statham around as he drives from location to location, taking a break every so often to bust out some kung-fu and speed off a bridge.

Why exactly? You’ve got me…

It’s as though the film is content with the fact that we don’t know what the hell is going on or that we don’t actually care enough to find out. Even when the relation between Statham’s delivery and the container ship is eventually drawn, I still can’t work out why Statham’s character was at all necessary to the scenario. They could have easily booked a flight to their destination instead; I wasn’t aware holding someone hostage now required an elite chauffeur to drive them around Europe.

2. If you’ve got a film that sells primarily because of its action, at least try and make said action good. Each chase and fight scene is completely old hat; nothing here hasn’t been done before and done so better. Director Olivier Megaton – whose subtlety obviously derives from his last name – must have realised this, explaining why he opted to speed up the action to a laughable level. It also appears that editors were specifically tasked with making sure the audience is unable to follow the action, almost as if to further mask just how ridiculous and sloppy these sequences are.

2008 transporter 3 0031 240x148 custom Transporter 3 (Review)

3. Apart from endless chase sequences, films about cars have one other integral component; attractive females. Like everything else, Transporter 3 is surprisingly lacking in this department as I’m certain  the film has only one female speaking role; Frank’s Ukrainian passenger Valentina. Not only does she turn out to be loathsome by nature, Valentia is unfortunately portrayed by a completely listless Natalya Rudakova. Her character’s contribution to the film had me borderline infuriated; all she does is sleep, eat, cause trouble and complain. Even if she was the only female in sight, to which I already established that she is, I still would have eagerly kicker her out of the car before I even left the garage. What kept Statham from doing the same is anyone’s guess.


4. The secret to a good film soundtrack is that it should never be noticeable enough to distract the audience from the visuals. Of course, Transporter 3 does the complete opposite and  makes sure every single change in the soundtrack is glaringly obvious. This might be because of a song selection couldn’t have been more obnoxious and unfitting if it tried. Someone should inform Megaton that a chase scene does not suddenly allow for a romantic interlude by simply by replacing the Techno mix with an overly sappy string composition.

If you hadn’t notice, I’ve given Transporter 3 a ½ star, which indicates that 10% of the film isn’t as bad as the other 90%. You can thank the film’s star Jason Statham and villain Robert Knepper for this slight glimmer of salvation. Statham still manages to look cool and in control, which is expected considering he’s been playing the same role for about 5 years now. Knepper, of TV’s Prison Break fame, manages to be somewhat menacing despite the cheesy script. However, it’s the Audi A8 that turns in the film’s best performance. Although prospective buyers should be warned; contrary to what the film will have you believe, a car will not start – let alone go at speeds in excess of 200 Km/h – after taking a deep plunge off a bridge and into a dam.  If you believe that it can, then you might just be the demographic responsible for Transporter 4 being green-lit, so here’s hoping you don’t.


If my mobile phone wasn’t turned off during the film, I would have called Frank and asked him to transport me the hell out of the cinema.

Follow the author Anders Wotzke on Twitter.

Get daily updates in your inbox!

View by star rating:

Adventures of Tintin, The
- Tom Clift
Read Review
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Review)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (Review)
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
The Human Centipede Part 2: Full Sequence
Human Centipede Part 2, The: Full Sequence
Happy Feet Two (Review)
Happy Feet Two
▶▶ More movie reviews ◀◀