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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
Opinion — It's okay to outgrow your college friends
Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

‘Transporter’ fails to deliver excitement

Film: Transporter 3

Director: Olivier Megaton

Producers: Luc Besson, Steve Chasman

Writers: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen

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Starring: Jason Statham, Natalya Rudakova

Runtime: 100 minutes

Rating: PG-13

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Hollywood has its own set of laws, such as cars that explode when you shoot them a few times and heroes that can get shot many times and can keep on killing bad guys. One genre in particular that embraces these absurd rules is the action film. With over-the-top fights and explosions that defy all logic, these films can be some of the most fun to watch. But like all genres, they can easily give into the standard clichés, such as the dashing hero who must save the damsel in distress.

It was a rejection of these clichés and an embracing of the ridiculousness that initially made “The Transporter” series so good. But the same can’t be said for the third installment, which delivers some great action but succumbs to the standard fare that can ruin any film.

Action hero Frank Martin (Statham) is trying to enjoy a much more low-key lifestyle. He spends his time fishing, hanging out with his cop-friend Tarconi (Francois Berleand) and passes any transporting jobs along to other, younger drivers. But when one of those younger drivers fails to deliver a package, Martin is forced to finish the job. There’s a catch – a magnetic bracelet is attached to him that will explode if he gets more than 75 feet away from the car. Martin must take the package, along with the mysterious Valentina (Rudakova) to Odessa, Ukraine if he is to complete the mission and save his life.

Compared to the previous entries, the third installment has some tame action scenes. That’s not to say that they aren’t in the least bit ridiculous. At one point, Martin is able to tilt his car on its side and drive it in between two semis at an insane speed. But this is nothing compared to what writer Luc Besson put in the previous scripts. It’s entertaining, but nothing special.

In fact, that’s a theme that runs throughout most of the film. The plot has been done before, the acting has been better and so has the dialogue. None of it is bad here, it’s just bland. Part of this is because this is the third entry in a franchise that is lucky to even have a sequel, but it’s also due to the fact that no one seems genuinely interested in this project. Statham seems to be going through the motions, punching guys here, flipping a car there, but never putting in that extra effort he’s displayed so many times before. This problem mainly arises from rookie director Olivier Megaton, who directs the film with a sense of apathy that would kill any film, let alone an action flick.

But all of these criticisms would make for a standard action film, not a below-average one. What kills “Transporter 3” is its very in-depth love story between Martin and Valentina. This plot line is bad on a couple levels. First, it’s beyond standard and cliché. Of course Martin and Valentina start off not liking each other, but after a couple close encounters they sort of like each other. And then Martin gets into one of his many half fights, half strip teases and Valentina is sold. Next thing you know, the movie is coming to a screeching halt just so the two can have an emotionally charged conversation, followed by a very PG love-making scene. But what’s so terrible about the love story is that it casts a gigantic light on one of the many problems still facing Hollywood — outdated stereotypes. Valentina is the powerless woman that just has to be saved by the big and strong Martin, who needs to be careful about developing feelings for anyone because, duh, that’s a weakness. Not only are these archetypes outdated but they’re borderline offensive. Worst of all, this sub-plot takes up a lot of time that should have been spent packing the film with more explosions and shoot-outs.

As a fan of the first two films, I can safely say that “Transporter 3” fails to deliver the exciting elements that the series is known for, while also adding large quantities of useless drivel. Unless you must see every single action film in theaters, wait for the DVD.

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