The Transporter Refueled, 2015.
Directed by Camille Delamarre
Starring Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Radivoje Bukvic, Anatole Tubman, Gabriella Wright, Loan Chabanol and Tatiana Pajkovic.
In the south of France, former special-ops mercenary Frank Martin enters into a game of chess with a femme-fatale and her three sidekicks who are looking for revenge against a sinister Russian kingpin.
Why does The Transporter Refueled exist? No one begged for it let alone asked for it, and whatever interest potentially left evaporated once Jason Statham was replaced from the role that played a heavy hand in catapulting his career into action hero stardom. Maybe if the studio had gotten a semi-revered and high-profile actor on board, or even a rookie capable of matching Statham’s stoic no-nonsense charm, the stupidity would be easier to swallow, but grabbing random Game of Thrones alumni Ed Skrein isn’t exactly a sell for a supposed new trilogy kickstarter.
More baffling is that the character of Frank isn’t even replaced; The Transporter Refueled lazily tries to pass off Ed Skrein as Jason Statham. Why not tell us the story of a new driver? Maybe broaden the scope of the universe and showcase a whole operation of Transporters similar to the James Bond franchise to freshen up a series that is already a rotten corpse. There is no creativity or originality here, just a lazy approach to breathing some life back into a franchise that not even Jason Statham himself probably cares about anymore.
Furthermore, it’s just a nonsensical affair that loves assaulting your brain. The movie involves a group of four dangerous women using Frank against his will (his father is kidnapped and poisoned with only the femme fatales in possession of the antidote) to help them get revenge on the major players of a prostitution ring that they were forced into at an early age. That’s all well and good but the movie takes an unbelievably sexist turn when everyone, to put it bluntly, eventually gets down and dirty with one another. Yes, tortured souls from illegal prostitution and Russian gangsters fall for The Transporter and his father because hey, they kick ass at their job and save the day. The ending scene literally involves Frank asking if all the dead bodies was worth the price of vengeance, only for him to seemingly shrug off his love interest’s tears by making out with her; truly an out-of-place moment.
Admittedly, no one probably gives a damn about political correctness coming into a switch your brain off at the door action flick like this, so the least the movie could have gotten right was integrating in some dazzling set pieces of violence. And while there is plenty of carnage, very little of it amounts to anything entertaining. Many of the hand-to-hand fight scenes are indecipherable thanks to an overabundance of quick-cut editing allowing viewers to never really get a feel for any of the punches, kicks or weapon swings being hurled. The vehicle chases are nothing more than product placement and police cars colliding with one another after Frank pulls off swift swerving. Shootouts are undoubtedly the worst of the bunch however, leaving you wondering who is even getting shot at and who is doing the shooting. For whatever reason the editing also loves to cut to overhead views of the city during what should be thrilling vehicle chases. It’s so jarring and awkward that it comes across as French tourism
To be fair, there is one adrenaline pumping sequence at an airport which does involve a great degree of creativity. Frank has to drive underneath a plane at a dangerously high-speed while collecting cargo, and it’s probably the only exciting moment The Transporter Refueled musters up. Brief flashes of fun are found within the close quarters combat sequences with how Frank disposes of enemies, but more often than not the battles rage on for far too long subsequently making the endeavor tedious.
The Transporter Refueled is one of the year’s very worst films. The plot will shatter every one of your senses sue to its stupidity, the action has almost no thought or drive to spark excitement, and every action sequence is so horribly edited that you may as well just turn around and listen to the movie. The experience won’t change; it actually might improve considering your brains won’t be scrambled from trying to decipher what the heck is occurring besides people getting hit and shot.
Going one step further to articulate this, The Transporter Refueled is directed by the editor of Taken 2, which is not only notorious for being awful but spawning a scene with over 15 cuts in the span of a five second scene showing someone getting shot and falling over a winding staircase railing. I have no idea what this franchise was refueled with, but if I was forced to wager a guess I’d probably say possum piss.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. Follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook