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June 10, 2009
Transporter 3 Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
5/2/200910/6/2009Icon FilmsOlivier Megaton
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4Dolby TrueHD 5.1MJason Statham

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Jason Statham is looking pretty fit.
The first movie in the Transporter franchise cost $US21 million and made $US44 million around the world at the box office. Transporter 2 cost $US32 million and made $US85 million. It was pretty inevitable then that, given the increasing profitability, a third movie was going to be green lit, and Transporter 3 is the result.

While we don't know the production budget on the third movie, it's worldwide gross of $US101 million would have certainly seen another profitable result. The movie has just been released on Blu-Ray and we were keen to have a look having missed this one at cinemas.

Again, Frank Martin (Jason Statham), has returned behind the wheel to deliver the goods. Frank Martin puts the driving gloves on to deliver Valentina, the kidnapped daughter of a Ukrainian government official, from Marseilles to Odessa on the Black Sea. En route, he has to contend with thugs who want to intercept Valentina's safe delivery and not let his personal feelings get in the way of his dangerous objective.

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Jason Statham and Robert Knepper fighting.
Returning as Frank Martin, Jason Statham yet again he provides a cool-as-a-cucumber performance and is hard as nails as a tough guy too. I must say that the supporting cast, while a little generic, were solid overall with Natalya Rudakova (who they name as Sasha in the extras for some reason) as Valentina being a rather interesting character although her chemistry with Jason Statham is missing as evidenced in a rather ridiculous love scene. Fortunately Robert Knepper (T-Bag from Prison Break) adds some substance to the mix. Beyond that François Berléand has returned for the third time in as many movies as Inspector Tarconi. While limited in screen time he is a very likable actor and it's great to see him back.

In terms of plot, this movie is functional, nothing we haven't seen many times before. The action and car chases are the stars of the show here and indeed there is quite a bit of hand-to-hand combat while the car chases are very entertaining as well. The fight sequences are well choreographed although there is a little too much quick cutting for our liking, but Jason Statham certainly looks the part.

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Transporter 3 fight scenes are impressive.
When you go into Transporter 3 you know it's all about the action - this isn't Shakespeare. Jason Statham remains a good lead actor in an action movie and fans of the two original Transporter movies would do well to check out this entertaining third installment.

I have to admit that I didn't expect too much from this video transfer. I don't know why. Budget movie, budget transfer perhaps? Well how wrong I was. This is quite brilliant.

Encoded at 2.35:1 using the AVC MPEG-4 codec this is a stellar presentation. With a bitrate the constantly hovers above the 30Mbps mark. The colours are natural, detail superb, and the movie has a wonderful, sharp, look about it. With so many fast action and driving sequences there was always possibility for disappointments, but you won't find any here. This really is a superb transfer with only the smallest amount of black crush.

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Natalya Rudakova as Valentina in Transporter 3.
Unlike the American Lionsgate release of this movie we don't have a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track, but rather a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. Don't be too disappointed as this is still a cracking audio track with aggressive use of surround sound channels and sub woofer. Dialogue is clear throughout even during the wonderful car chase sequences with engines running and tyres squealing. Music is well done in the movie with some lively beats when required and includes beats from Busta Rhymes, Eve, The Stooges and Tricky to name a few.

The only other audio track on this is a Linear PCM 2.0 Stereo track encoded at 1.5Mbps. It's actually quite, no make that very, impressive and I think you'd be hard pressed to find a more impressive track on another disc. One subtitle track is provided too - English for the Hard of Hearing. Some of the dialogue is altered to reduce the text, but there is no major impact on the film in terms of missing story.

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Jason Statham returns as Frank Martin.
There are a few extras on this disc, but sadly most are only presented in standard definition and very short. Certainly the highlight is the audio commentary (which can be found under Audio Setup rather then Special Features).

Audio Commentary with Director Olivier Megaton: While Olivier's accent makes it hard going at times this a quite informative audio commentary. Impressively this track is also encoded using Linear PCM audio at 1.5Mbps.

The Making of Transporter 3 (16:11): Pretty much your standard "Making of" documentary although there is some rehearsal and on-set footage as well as interviews with the director and star of the movie.

Storyboard/Feature Comparisons with Director Commentary (2:45): A very brief look at some of the storyboarding used in the train sequence including scenes that didn't make the final movie.

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François Berléand returns for a third Transporter.
Special FX with Director Commentary (2:32): Again, extremely short, but a nice look at the few moments of visual effects used in Transporter 3.

Sets/Production Design with Director Commentary (2:08): A quick look at the set design used in the movie.

Car Stunts with Director Commentary (3:09): This is probably the most disappointing extra due to the lack of detail given the focus of the movie.

If you like the other movies in the Transporter franchise then you'll most likely enjoy this movie too. There are some great action sequences, the video and audio is solid and there are a couple of extras to keep you entertained too. Worth a look.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Icon. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.