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Movie Reviews
by Jonathan McKee and Todd Pearage

Transporter 3 (3/10/2009)


Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, some sexual content, and drug material.

Directed by Oliver Megaton

Starring Jason Statham, Robert Knepper


Jonathan's Rating: Skip it

Todd's Rating: Skip it

Todd’s Word: Same movie, different package.

Jonathan’s Word: I wish it was the same as Transporter number one, but instead… it smelled a lot like number two!

Todd’s Word: Nice.

The story was similar. Strong-armed into transporting the kidnapped daughter of the head of the Environmental Agency for the Ukraine from Marseilles to Odessa, skilled wheelman Frank Martinv (Jason Statham) enlists the aid of Inspector Tarconi in accomplishing the treacherous assignment in this action-packed installment of the popular action series. Frank isn't exactly thrilled with his latest assignment, but when his employer turns up the pressure, he has little choice but to deliver. His cargo is a feisty young girl named Valentina -- who just happens to be the daughter of Leonid Vasilev, the powerful top dog of the Ukraine EPA. Now, as Frank makes his way through Stuttgart and Budapest on the road to the Black Sea, Vasilev's men besiege his car from all sides, and his cynical young passenger gets a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome. As the driver and his cargo grow increasingly close, they both realize that making even a single mistake could cost them dearly.

Jonathan’s Word: In other words, Frank got in some cool car chases, some great fights… but also flirted with an irritating girl and a below-par script.

Todd’s Word: Touché. I really like Jason Statham, but he clearly has no one helping him decide what movies to make (i.e. In the Name of the King, Crank, War, etc). I also really liked the first two Transporter films because they were so fun, simple and full of action. The plots were as simple as you could get: the super-cool Jason Statham drives a super-cool car and gets in super-cool fights with people -- that's it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Unfortunately they “fixed” it.

Jonathan’s Word: I can’t believe you liked the second one. I mean… let me rephrase that. Yes, it was fun to see Frank back in the game driving and kicking butt… but the film as a whole was just lame.

But that’s just my two cents.

Todd’s Word: And worth about that.

I liked one and two. But this time the story makes no sense. The bad guy (Robert Knepper), is forcing the Transporter, Frank Martin, to transport the package - a girl named Valentina (Natalya Rudakova) - from one country to another. But Johnson is present when Frank leaves with the girl and he is present when Frank delivers the girl. So why did we need the Transporter?

Jonathan’s Word: I hear you. I think the script was written by a kid from my son’s high school P.E. class.

Todd’s Word: And, oh wait! There is also the bracelet that will blow up if it gets too far from the car. Have I seen that before?

Jonathan’s Word: You lost me there. What… The Running Man? Sure. I’ve seen exploding bracelets or necklaces before. But I actually thought this was one of the unique things in the plot—the bracelet causing him to have to stay near his car. That made the film a little more interesting when he couldn’t get too far from his car.

But I agree… most of it felt “been there, seen that.”

Todd’s Word: Everything about Transporter 3 feels like a rerun. Although the action is fun, nothing about it is new or clever, and there is a lot less of it. The one new addition is Natalya Rudakova, the redheaded package and love interest; she is annoying as a character and as an actress. So with a story that makes no sense and less fights scenes…I say Skip It.

Jonathan’s Word: I agree. As a matter of fact… if it wasn’t for a few creative fight scenes, I would score this film A Coaster. But as a big fan of the original Transporter, I did actually enjoy seeing Frank again, the two initial fight scenes, and a few driving scenes. Unfortunately, that 10 minutes won’t salvage the rest of the film.


SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
The sequences of action, violence and sexual content stay well within the PG-13 Rating. But what does that really mean today?

Frank and Valentina share a few kisses and although it is not shown, sex is implied. Another stamp of approval on the one-night-stand.

In most cases, the film is more irritating than objectionable.


Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?


  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?


  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?




Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee, president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over a dozen books including the new Get Your Teenager Talking, The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. Jonathan speaks and trains at conferences, churches and events across North America, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.



Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.



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