Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Olivier Megaton|
|Produced by||Luc Besson
|Written by||Luc Besson
Robert Mark Kamen
|Music by||Alexandre Azaria|
|Cinematography||Giovanni Fiore Coltellacci|
|Edited by||Camille Delamarre
|Distributed by||EuropaCorp. Distribution (France)
Lionsgate (United States)
Icon Film Distribution (United Kingdom)
20th Century Fox (some countries)
Transporter 3 is a 2008 French action film, and the third installment in the Transporter franchise. Both Jason Statham and François Berléand reprised their roles, as Frank Martin and Tarconi, respectively. This is the first film in the series to be directed by Olivier Megaton. The film continues the story of Frank Martin, a professional "transporter" who has returned to France to continue his low-key business of delivering packages without questions. The story continues after the film in Transporter: The Series.
A ship arrives, carrying toxic chemicals that have killed two of its crew members. Frank Martin and Inspector Tarconi fish in the Marseilles when Tarconi receives a call about a black Audi A8 that speeds past French customs and evades the police in a car chase. While Tarconi returns to headquarters to give Frank's alibi, in Odessa, Ukraine, the Environmental Agency Minister (Leonid Tomilenko) receives a threat from Ecocorp boss Johnson to reopen business negotiations. At night, the Audi crashes into Frank's home, with a wounded transporter, Malcolm Melville, whom Frank had referred when he declined a previous job. As paramedics take away Malcolm, Frank discovers in the backseat a woman who warns him not to take her from the car; she shows him a metal bracelet she and Malcolm have been wearing. Frank rushes outside, but the ambulance explodes. He is knocked out by a henchman.
Ordered by Johnson at gunpoint, and wearing an explosive bracelet, Frank must take a package and the woman, Valentina, to Budapest. Tomilenko negotiates to postpone signing Ecocorp's agreement that would allow the ships with the chemicals into his country. While Tarconi researches into Johnson's motivations, Frank goes off-course, visiting a garage to try to deal with the bracelet, but as he fends off Johnson's men, his mechanic friend Otto cannot disarm the device on the car. At Budapest, Johnson tells Frank that he's fired; one of Johnson's men steals the Audi, leaving Frank to chase him down. After Frank and Johnson agree to call it even, Johnson sends him to Bucharest, but Frank and Valentina are chased by a black Mercedes-Benz W211 driven by Tomilenko's agents. After opening the package in the trunk, Frank realizes Valentina is the real package; she seduces Frank by holding his car keys. Valentina, who is revealed to be Tomilenko's daughter, explains that she was drugged in Ibiza and was transported by Malcolm.
Johnson redirects him to Odessa, where he and his men surround them on a bridge. Although Valentina is delivered to Johnson and her bracelet removed, Johnson's men shoot at Frank's car. Frank drives off the bridge into the lake, and barely survives. Aboard the train, Johnson lets Tomilenko talk to Valentina and gives him 15 minutes to sign. After Tarconi and the Ukrainian police retrieve the Audi, Frank continues his chase and jumps the car on top of the train. He takes out Johnson's men but cannot touch Johnson because he is too far from his car. After Johnson separates the train cabs, Frank jumps his car into the cab, and beats Johnson, strapping him with the bracelet and sending his car in reverse. Upon hearing from Tarconi that Valentina is safe, Tomilenko tears up the Ecocorp contracts before heading for his business conference. The cargo ships are raided by police and sent away from Ukrainian shores.
Frank and Tarconi return to fishing in Marseilles, but Valentina suggests they eat out instead.
- Jason Statham as Frank Martin
- Natalya Rudakova as Valentina
- François Berléand as Inspector Tarconi
- Robert Knepper as Johnson
- Jeroen Krabbé as Leonid Tomilenko
- Alex Kobold as Leonid's Aide
- David Atrakchi as Malcom Manville
- Yann Sundberg as Flag
- Eriq Ebouaney as Ice
- David Kammends as Driver Market
- Silvio Simac as Mighty Joe
- Oscar Relier as Thug / Driver
- Timo Dierkes as Otto
- Igor Koumpan as Ukrainian cop
- Paul Barrett as Captain
- Elef Zack as Mate
- Katia Tchenko as Leonid's Secretary
- Michel Neugarten as Assassin Driver - Sergei
- Farid Elquardi as Yuri
- Semmy Schilt as The Giant
Natalya Rudakova was spotted by Luc Besson on the street as she hurried to her job at a New York City hair salon. He paid for 25 acting lessons over a six-month period in Paris before she received the role. Roger Ebert noted the rarity of leading ladies who are heavily freckled.
Box office and reception
Transporter 3 was released by Lionsgate in the United States. On its opening weekend, the film opened at number 7 with $12 million. As of 11 September 2009[update], the film has grossed $31.7 million in the United States and in Canada and $74.6 million in other countries, with a total gross of $106,288,215 worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film in the Transporter trilogy.
The film has received mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a freshness score of 36% based on reviews from 110 critics and reports a rating average of 4.8 out of 10, with the reported consensus: "This middling installment in the Transporter franchise is a few steps down from its predecessors, featuring generic stunts and a lack of energy." At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 51 based on 26 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
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