This afternoon I'm off to see Safe, but in the interim I wanted to get caught up on one of Statham's more high-profile actioners. Nothing too deep, I'm afraid. I want to get there early so I can play Hydro Thunder in the lobby.
Transporter 3 (2008)
I don't remember a thing about the plot of this one. Understandable, though, forgivable, even foreseeable. Ah, but the real sin against nature, and the real sin against the genre we love, is this: Statham fights, he drives, he says funny things in that voice of his, but I don't remember a thing about them. It's like taking a road trip to some beautiful place, except you never get to do anything there, you just buy a postcard and turn around. Sure, you can tell all your friends you were there, you can even comfort yourself with souvenirs, but what do you really remember about that trip besides the interminable hours on the road? To reverse a trite phrase, movies like Transporter 3 are all about the destination, not the journey. Facile, derivative narratives are essentially a trope of the genre, and Transporter 3 astutely arrives at its destination early; unfortunately, that destination hardly worth visiting. The fight scenes are made almost incomprehensible by rapid cutting, trimming the context of a punch or kick, for instance, covering up the considerable physical abilities of Statham. This compensational technique works well for actors instead of athletes, but Statham's there for his body, not for his charm. There's no sense in compensating for something that should be showcased. What you get then is an apparition, and an even more fleeting one than usual, and one that doesn't even swear and headbutt people quite the same.