Without question, “Transporter 3″ is the least enjoyable of the Luc Besson-masterminded trilogy, but don ‘t let that stop you from a purchase or a rental. Odds are, if you enjoyed “The Transporter” or “The Transporter 2,” you’ll get a kick — or several — out of this presumably final outing.
Besides, I’ll take Jason Statham (“Death Race”) over any action hero nowadays. He reprises his role as well-dressed wheelman Frank Martin, and this time, a job practically falls into his lap … by crashing through the wall of his house. The villainous Johnson (Robert Knepper of TV’s “Prison Break”) forces Frank to deliver a package, in the form of punky young kidnapee Valentina (newcomer Natalya Rudakova), the daughter of a politician Johnson is blackmailing.
The gimmick here is that Frank and Valentina are equipped with sensor bracelets, so if they move more than 75 feet away from the car, they’ll explode. This results in one of the franchise’s best sequences, in which someone else has taken the car, and Frank has to hijack a bicycle to catch up. It also is put to good use in the film’s train-set finale.
Despite the constant variable of Statham, the three “Transporter” films feel vaguely unrelated, partly because of different directors. Here, Oliver Megaton (great name, that) handles duties with an oft-overkinetic touch. Story’s not the strong suit, but “T3″ still delivers the goods, albeit at a slower pace.
The two-disc edition offers insight into the effects and stunts, as well as a Megaton commentary that grates. Stick to the flick. —Rod Lott