Jason Statham makes a great tough, no-nonsense, non-pretty-boy lead. His Transporter character, Frank Martin, really embodies a kind of guy many women want and the kind many men want to emulate. Men especially appreciate his ability to kick butt, live life by a code and be completely self reliant. It is a character that you do not want to fool around with too much and change. Put him in different scenarios, but keep him “The Transporter”.
Transporter 3 flirted dangerously close to making Frank Martin a little too human in regards to his affection for the female lead. It is okay for Frank to be with women on his terms, but like any good starship captain he has to be married to his ship — er, car first. Even of Frank did decide to spend time with one woman, I would think he could do better than a character depicted as a Ukrainian skank with a love of restaurant food.
All the other aspects of Frank’s personality and abilities were on full display. He rarely lowers himself to fighting one bad guy at a time, but rather prefers to decimate whole groups of club swinging euro-goons. BTW, if we are continuing with the starship captain analogy, where Captain Kirk had his shirt ripped almost every fight the Transporter seems to completely remove his. The fight scenes were all well done and entertaining even if slightly contrived. Statham really knows how to move.
His beloved car did a lot of moving as well as you would expect. While the producers feel the need to keep upping the driving ante, even some of the more outrageous depicted acts strain credulity but do not break it. It is amazing how many places that car finds itself over the course of a few movie hours.
The plot for Transporter movies does not have to be very deep, it only needs to be believable. If you are on the left you may be okay with the bad guys being toxic waste polluters trying to forcibly offload their poisonous cargo. You would probably also be okay with the euro-thugs being lead by a openly ultra-capitalist American only interested in the profit and loss. Those on the right may be tired of these agenda-driven stale stereotypes. It is the weakest part of an otherwise enjoyable film.
The quality of Transporter movies is holding up. This third entry is strong enough that one can over look the few liberties and dalliances that detract from the franchise. The inspector friend of Frank Martin was a welcome returning character. He added welcome dry humor.
Statham plays a certain range of roles very well. Some of the other action movies he starred in like Death Race and In the Name of the King were not the world’s greatest movies, but that was not because of Statham’s performance or likability. If anything, he made those movies better then they would have otherwise been. Fortunately he did not have to save Transporter 3. It was a fun romp if you have any interest in action movies.