By James Rocchi,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Smash-up action sequel is a little rough for young teens.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The plot revolves around a toxic-waste disposal scheme that sees a high government official's daughter kidnapped to coerce her father into clearing multiple shipments of illegal waste for docking and, presumably, dumping. Nominally, the movie's message is meant to be pro-environmental regulation. Extensive violation of the rules of the road. Public urination.
Violence & Scariness
Extreme and near-constant violence. Extensive martial-arts violence, with metal pipes, knives, articles of clothing, fire extinguishers, and more used as weapons. Shootings, many lethal, are often solely to make a point. Two supporting characters are shown murdered and mutilated by toxic waste. Characters are fitted with explosive bracelets that will detonate if they move too far from their vehicle. Deaths by explosion. Extensive vehicular action, including chases and crashes.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman in peril notes in broken English that "I want to feel sex one more time before I die." When the object of her affections demurs, she asks if he is "the gay." Kissing. Nude male and female buttocks. Implied lovemaking. A character is coerced into a "strip-tease." Some discussion of a character's taste for "the rough stuff" in lovemaking.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Some harsh language, including "s--t," "ass," "gay," "f--k," and "hell."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Some brands mentioned and shown on screen -- particularly Audi automobiles.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink wine, champagne, beer, and hard liquor. A character takes what's implied to be Ecstasy (MDMA) during a life-threatening set of circumstances, chasing the pills with vodka. Some cigarette smoking, plus discussion of Dean Martin's signature look of "holding a drink and a cigarette."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, like its predecessors, the third movie in the Transporter franchise features extensive, visceral martial-arts action (not to mention constant violation of any conception of safe driving). There are shootings, explosions, mutilations, and more. Also expect a good bit of strong language (including "f--k") and some kissing and partial nudity (buttocks). The female lead takes Ecstasy mixed with vodka at one point, and other characters smoke and drink. While the film nominally has a pro-environmental regulation message, it's paper-thin wrapping around a slick, glossy package of violence and velocity.
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 5 parent reviews
Report this review
Love this movie
Report this review
What's the Story?
Professional "transporter" Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is out of the business and enjoying his retirement when adventure literally comes crashing into his home in the form of a car driven by the friend Frank recommended for a job he passed up. Soon Frank finds himself the replacement driver, taking passenger Valentina (Natalya Rudakiva) across Europe at the behest of heavily armed, deeply criminal men who've strapped Frank and Valentina with explosive bracelets that will detonate if they get too far from the car. She's the daughter of a European minister preventing the docking and off-loading of ships loaded with illegal toxic waste; her kidnapping is the leverage the villains intend to use to get their boats unloaded. Can Frank escape the clutches of the bad guys alive while rescuing the girl?
Is It Any Good?
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.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Frank's moral code of professionalism and honor ... while conducting illegal activity. How does his precision represent a relative decency, compared to the other characters/groups in the movie? Do you think the filmmakers are trying to convey any real messages, or is the point of the movie just to entertain with over-the-top action? Parents of kids learning to drive might also point out the stunts are not to be imitated.
- In theaters: November 26, 2008
- On DVD or streaming: March 10, 2009
- Cast: Jason Statham, Natalya Rudakova, Robert Knepper
- Director: Olivier Megaton
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sequences of intense action and violence, some sexual content and drug material
- Last updated: February 22, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate