Lisa Schwarzbaum
November 25, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

Transporter 3

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
100 minutes
Wide Release Date
11/26/08
performer
Jason Statham, Francois Berleand, Robert Knepper
director
Olivier Megaton
distributor
Lions Gate Films
author
Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
genre
ActionAdventure

We gave it a B

Another day, another package to be delivered by taciturn courier Frank Martin (Jason Statham) in his armored Audi, another opportunity for Statham to bare his righteous rectus abdominis muscles in Transporter 3. And I, for one, have no problem with this scenario. The third edition of the brassy global action franchise, featuring a hero who’s finicky about rules of conduct, makes good on its formula with no pretensions. The basic Transporter recipe is part Euro-fromage, part Hong Kong-style fights, and part dialogue shot with few mouths in view, the easier for dubbing. Frank’s a bullethead built to drive, strip, and bash.

In Transporter 3, Frank discovers that his ”package” is a slinky young woman (Russian newcomer Natalya Rudakova) whose papa (Jeroen Krabbé) is being blackmailed into doing business with the biggest meanies in the movies today — I’m referring, of course, to environmental polluters. (Ask James Bond.) This time, though, Frank breaks one of his many regulations and learns her name. So things get personal. The villainous Polluter-in-Chief is eloquently played by Robert Knepper, familiarly loathsome as T-Bag on Fox’s Prison Break. And when Knepper and Statham get together, there’s a fine showdown of grimaces. But only one gets to take his shirt off. B

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