Transporter 3 (DTS-MA 7.1) - Tier 1
I can understand why IH and Max Payne are reference, IH has plenty of sonic detail to go with the abundant deep bass, Max Payne uses deep bass to accentuate certain things and it does so with some superbly clean LFE.
Transporter 3 is nothing but LFE for the sake of LFE. The entire score relies upon very deep electric drum beats, which isn't really all that bad until the score gets cranked up during the action scenes and drowns out whatever sound effects are there(some are missing, Ill get to that in a minute). Punches are synced with the score so that when someone is hit it's usually matched by a drum hit.
Now for the missing sounds, the punches that are heard are much too light for an over the top action movie like this; and no they don't try to do that realist meaty 'thud' thing either. I think they might have had to tone some stuff down for the PG-13 rating(boo kids and lionsgate for catering to them
). Right at the beginning Statham takes a dudes leg and snaps it right in half like a twig, no noise just a drum beat. You get appropriate swooshes and such when arms and legs are swung, but with none of the impact. Don't expect anything even resembling Bourne cranked down from 10 to 5 in the hand to hand combat department.
The cars sound OK, there's only one car chase in the movie. Your typical episode of Top Gear has better recordings, and more interesting editing of car sounds. Then there are the guns - handguns, sub-machine guns, assault rifles, american, european - they all make the same sound, and they don't seem to change from environment to environment.
I didn't get a True 360 soundfield they way I did when watching Transformers, BHD, TDK, or Wanted. Then again this was probably due to the score drowning out most discreet effects. The dialogue also had this nasty ADR quality to it, it's super clean but it looks synced and whenever someone finishes speaking it's almost as if there mic has been turned off(IDK what that was about, is that what sound gates do?). Personally I think Transporter 2 has the best sound of all 3.
But if you want room shaking LFE by the truckload then this is the disc you want to use. High points - track is super dynamic, whisper to building falling in a breath, fidelity is top notch. 2 best sound moments in the movie are pretty much the same thing - a car crashes into something very violently and it sounds like it's happening in your room. Cool.