Transporter 3 >>>> Review

The third installment in the Transporter series returns Jason Statham to his best screen role to date, driver extraordinaire Frank Martin. A sort of downscale James Bond, Martin specializes in missions involving car chases, martial-arts fights, sadistic villains and leggy models, plots that inevitably reveal the romantic core to his gruff exterior. Transporter 3 goes even further, giving Martin a love interest among all the mayhem. Unfortunately, love scenes—especially those filtered through producer and co-screenwriter Luc Besson's sensibilities—are the last thing you want in a Transporter film.

After some excruciating comic relief involving hangdog sidekick Tarconi (François Berléand), Martin finds himself in a jam. Kidnapped by thugs, he is ordered by assassin Johnson (Robert Knepper) to drive Valentina (Natalya Rudakova), a Ukrainian party girl, from Marseille to Budapest. Johnson's equipped both of them with explosive bracelets that will detonate if they stray too far from their car. What's worse, Russian agents have been sent to intercept and kill Martin before he can make his delivery.

Tracked by GPS, Martin finds himself surrounded by Johnson's underlings whenever he veers off course. (Frankly, the film could have used a few more of these diversions, as the fistfights are easily the most entertaining of the action elements.) Valentina may pose a greater threat than bodybuilding goons. Convinced that she will be killed anyway, during one lull she orders Martin to perform an erotic striptease so she can enjoy "the sex" one more time.