Tuesday, March 26, 2013

You're so tense

Transporter 3 (2008)
As much as I really loved the first Transporter and as cool a character as I think Frank is, after the abuse that was Transporter 2, I can't say I'm looking forward to this one very much.  Turns out that I was correct that this is a completely forgettable movie, but I was mistaken that I'd watched this before as proven by the unopened DVD.  At least I've seen it now is about the best that I can say about this one.  This is one of those times where the take an established character and formula and try to mix it up a bit.  Political intrigue is very much not a storyline we need to have.  Even that would have been okay if we stuck to the formula like the first one where the overall plot is really irrelevant to the entertainment value of the movie.  No such luck here.  By trying to go all political thriller on us, all they managed to do was confuse the plot and take valuable time away from what Frank does best:  Kick people in the face while trying to run them off the road. 

It's not a complete loss of a movie and there were a few amusing moments and some decent action, but it says something about the staying power of the movie that I can't remember a specific one of those moments and it's only been a couple of hours since I finished watching the movie.  About all that stands out are the completely stupid moments like the inept high speed chase by Group of Bad Guys #83 where we later learn they were working for Generic Russian Chick's dad and apparently were trying to "rescue" her.  By "rescue", I of course mean taking extreme risks to her well being in an attempt to stop Statham from doing whatever the hell it is he was supposed to be doing with her.  Apparently that boils down to swerving all over a road while going 140+ kph, which was at least somewhat plausible in hindsight and pumping 1000+ rounds of ammo into the car she's riding in, which is a somewhat less effective method of ensuring her safety.  Can't find good help these days, I guess.

Statham was apparently only slightly more interested in what was going on than I was.  Sure, he's got a couple of generic fight sequences and, as always, he looks good behind the wheel, but I haven't seen him with this little intensity in a role since Ghosts of Mars.  Perhaps he was just confused by what his character's motivation was supposed to be.  I sure as hell was.  He does at least get to run around with his shirt off a decent bit, so my sister will hopefully be amused, but that time would really be better spent watching pretty much any other Statham movie where he takes his shirt off.  Quite a few to choose from. 

As to the supporting cast, the best I can really say about any of them is that they didn't openly flub their lines.  Good job everyone.

Badassery Quotient - 7
There's no denying that there is plenty of explosions and gunplay to be had, but I have to knock a few points off for the uninspired fight and chase sequences.  Take away any sense of menace or control by Statham and it's not really what that character should be capable of. 

Rewatchability - No thanks
I imagine this is going to continue to be a theme with Jason's recent movies, but there's really no point in rewatching this when you can effectively watch the same movie in any number of other better acted and directed ones.  Perhaps it would be fun to rewatch to see if I could actually keep track of which bad guys are who and which of the two nearly identical black cars in the chase scene were which.  Can't say I recommend this to anyone, not even someone who is a big Transporter fan.  I guess if you managed to enjoy Transporter 2 at all, then you might as well give this one a try since it's at least a little less insulting to your intelligence. 

Up next - Crank: High Voltage.  More than a little leery of this and it strikes me as one of those movies that really shouldn't have been made.  The first Crank really captured lightning in a bottle with an outrageous plot device cleverly pulled off and wonderful performances by Statham and the supporting casts.  Surely pressing their luck to go there again, but we'll see how it turns out.

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