After the disappointingly shallow new James Bond movie, maybe a third helping of Frank Martin isn't a bad thing. The guy was never particularly deep to begin with. And since Jason Statham seems quite comfortable with his acting limitations, Frank puts the viewer—and his latest "package," a red-haired Ukrainian hostage (Natalya Rudakova)—at ease. Just leave the driving to him: Marseilles to Budapest; Budapest to Bucharest; Bucharest to Odessa. There's something relaxing about aerial shots of a black 12-cylinder Audi sedan speeding along empty highways, with only minor speed bumps en route. Beating up the occasional mob of assassins ruffles Frank little more than reprogramming his GPS unit at the behest of the hostage takers. Likewise, this Luc Besson–produced series of Euro-actioners doesn't need a plot, just a series of coordinates. Though, it must be said, this is the first Transporter installment to grant Frank any tenderness toward his distaff cargo. (Meanwhile, we intercut a freighter full of toxic waste, an evil American–led business cartel, and a sweating government minister played by Jeroen Krabbé—plot elements that take 30 seconds to connect.) He's no Bond. He's no Bourne. But Martin may be the better vehicle for our times—cheap, modest, get-the-job-done.
Statham and Rudakova connect.
Opens at Meridian and other theaters. Wed., Nov. 26. Rated PG-13. 103 minutes.