While the first two Transporter films were good, dumb fun, Transporter 3 is critically wounded by what may be one of the worst performances ever committed to film: Rudakova's work as Valentina. Perilously wooden and amazingly shallow, Rudakova provides purely unintentional comedy as she delivers badly written lines in halting fractured English while pouting, preening, and posing her way through the film. This film is built on a seemingly solid foundation of star Statham's abdominal muscles, martial arts action, and adrenaline-fueled stunt driving.
It's a shame, because Statham still has everything you could ask for in an action lead -- guts, grit, and grace under pressure -- and bad guy Mr. Johnson (Prison Break's Robert Knepper) is suitably silken and wicked. Kudos should aslo go to series fight choreographer Cory Yuen, a master of close, intense, superbly-crafted martial-arts action. Still, you can feel that this is a shabby, quickly made sequel. The story makes no sense -- but, then again, these films have always been more about speed and splashy action than plot or logic. Director Olivier Megaton puts all the pieces together, but with Rudakova so stiff and shabby in her portrayal of a shallow, spoiled brat, you literally don't care whether she escapes with her life. The Transporter films have always been guilty pleasures, but the third installment is such a diluted, dull repetition that you'll feel the guilt much, much more than any pleasure.