Frank Martin is back, but this time he’s not happy to be the transporter. Martin however, doesn’t have a choice, because strapped to his wrist is an explosive bracelet designed to kill him if he doesn’t obey the demands of his new ‘boss’.
Those demands are to transport the kidnapped daughter of the head of the Environmental Protection Agency for the Ukraine – that’s right, this is an eco-thriller!
Once again the Transporter series has been placed in the hands of an unknown director, former graffiti artist Oliver Megaton. Yes, that’s right, his last name is Megaton – Oliver takes his last name from his birthday : the 6th of August 1965 is the 20th anniversary of the dropping of the Hiroshima A-bomb.
You can see where I’m going can’t you?
It’s not that Oliver is a bad director – he handles the rudimentary parts fine, the action scenes are up to the standard you expect from Statham, as good if not better than anything he’s done before. There are even moments of genius, especially the BMX scene.
But for me, the Transporter series works on three levels; first you have Statham as Frank Martin, the toughest action hero around, but one that never loses his cool and dresses impeccably. Second you have the fight scenes, imaginative, with over whelming odds, but odds that are in reality, always stacked (somehow) in Frank’s favour.
Oliver gets the first two right. But without the third thing, the movie as a whole is a disappointment, and that third thing is the driving scenes. Oliver just doesn’t know how to create a decent high-speed chase. It honestly looks like he used the old Mad Max technique of filming cars doing stunts at normal speed, and then sped up the film to make it look like it’s a high-speed chase. The result is that you’re left cringing rather than clinging to the edge of you seats.
It’s a pity really, because unlike the Meatloaf song, two out of three just doesn’t make the cut.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Released on: August 5th, 2009
Year of Original Release: 2008
Stars: Jason Statham, Natalya Rudakova, Francois Berleand, Robert Knepper, Jeroen Krabbe, Alex Kobold, David Atrakchi, Yann Sundberg, Eriq Ebouaney, Silvio Simac, Timo Dierkes
Length (Minutes): 110
Media Format: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Supported Audio: Dolby Digital Surround 5.1
Director: Megaton, Olivier