Review in a Hurry: Jason Statham drives again in this wanna-B-action thriller that won't do anything but torque you off.
The Bigger Picture: It's kinda fast, it looks cheap, it's definitely out of control: Transporter 3 stars Statham as freelance courier Frank Martin, a hard man to find and an even harder man to catch. A master wheelman with strong kung fu, Martin's once again dragooned into an international intrigue that fortunately doesn't require him to do much more than drive fast and thump bad guys—especially since he can't go far from his car or he'll explode. (Yes, him, not the car.)
Economical, Transporter 3 isn't. Where most B-films try to disguise their limitations by narrowing the focus, this European production has delusions of grandeur. No matter that you've seen better cinematography in car commercials, or that the vehicular stunts were old hat a couple of 007s ago, or that the wheezingly overdeveloped plot about toxic-waste management is duller than dishwater; this is a franchise starring Jason Statham, people!
Which is never more clear than when Statham's forced to fight off a mob using the shirt off his back, performing an inadvertent striptease for a female costar all the while. If the rest of the film weren't so desperate, it might just work, but alas, a ludicrous, high-octane action movie needs to generate a certain number of smiles per hour; Transporter 3 just idles away, guzzling gas.
The 180—a Second Opinion: The substance is weak, but the style can still be good for a couple of kicks. Transporter 3 works well when it's about Statham chasing his own car so the bomb strapped to his wrist won't go off; pity a pretty solid 10 minutes is all that's on offer.