Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Thoughts on the film: Transporter 3


I signed up for the Oscar writers Q&A last night and then totally forgot to go. I do that a lot, although less so when I'm on vacation.

Instead of listening to Oscar nominated writers discuss their methods and experienced, I watched Transporter 3.

It's not like I expected it to be good or anything, but I was kind of hoping it was like Shoot 'Em Up, ridiculous action inside a fun story. The first Transporter was like that. This guy has all these rules - the rules are what guide his life. And then one day he decides to break those rules and all hell breaks loose.

The second and third movies just didn't have that kind of conflict. The second one was a mess, and this thing I saw last night was empty action. The Transporter takes a girl through a bunch of European towns, followed the entire time by the bad guys. Why didn't the bad guys take her through a bunch of European towns? It makes absolutely no sense that they included this extra guy in their nefarious scheme. I guess maybe they wanted him to just shift the girl around so nobody would find her, but they never really made that clear. They never really made anything clear.

The next big problem is that we spend like 80% of this movie in the car with Frank and the girl and they're supposed to fall in love or something, but there is NO chemistry between them. It's not difficult to make Jason Statham sexy, but here he looks downright annoyed to have to have sex with this girl. I think he might hate her, but she practically rapes him and then won't leave him alone.

I mean I really hated this girl. She had NO redeeming qualities.

I was hoping she would die. SPOILER ALERT - she doesn't. No, this chick clings to him right to the end, still annoying, as if he can't get rid of her.

Here's what I was thinking should have been the second Transporter. Frank broke his rules on the last job, so Frank's reputation is fucked. What if the second movie was Frank trying to prove himself? He didn't give up his previous life willingly, so he takes small driving jobs while he tries to convince bad guys to hire him again. Then just as he gets a new job, something happens that forces him to choose between the rules and his hard-earned career. Could be law enforcement is on his ass. Could be someone he loves is in danger. But the elements that worked for the first movie was the internal conflict, a conflict that is sorely neglected in both the second and third movies.

I guess in the second, caring for the kid could have been something but I don't really remember that much about the kid - I mostly remember that crazy '80s lady who wore underwear and shot lots of guns randomly.

I'll say this for Transporter 3 though, I certainly did see a lot of Jason Statham's finely chiseled chest. I think all movies could use a little more of that.

2 comments:

  1. One thing you didn't mention was that TRANSPORTER 3 and TAKEN were each from the Luc Besson factory and both written by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. I actually like both of these movies, as well as a few of the others they've made in recent years. They're not DIE HARD or other films on that level you could name but they're fun, they're fast, they've got good action and they're 90 minutes long so they know to get out of Dodge before they overstay their welcome. I also found them both more satisfying and entertaining than something like QUANTUM OF SOLACE which in comparison wasn't much fun at all. They're kind of the present-day version of the classic B-action movie.

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  2. True, they are from Besson's factory. I guess I just don't care for his films anymore.

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