I think they refueled this reboot with leaded gasoline because it weighed heavy in mediocrity.
“THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED” is a reboot of the trilogy made famous by Jason Statham, this time starring Ed Skrein as the suit wearing transporter of classified packages. Following his set of rules he has been able to live a quiet, profitable life, until he takes a job that gets him tangled with a group of femme-fatale’s planning a heist that, if successful, will net them millions from the Russian Mob.
When Jason Statham first starred as Frank Martin in the 2002 original, the result was a standard action film with a fun premise for the genre. Statham also delivered a charismatic performance as the leading man paving the way for a surprise hit. Sure the following sequels declined in success as the outlandish action-sequences began to spiral towards laughable, but Statham was still able to prove he could carry a film on his shoulders.
Step in Ed Skrein from the “Game of Thrones”, a handsome lead that looked the part. His chiseled features and ability to sport a tailored suit were fitting for the lead role, but his bland performance was not as a result of his acting prowess, but due to the weak writing in the script and a drab, generic story-line.
Going into this film I was not expecting excellence by any means but I can honestly say I was surprised by how disappointing it actually was and how little it was able to pull my attention. There were some nice aspects; the locations were beautifully captured during some of the scene intros… and that’s really all I have to use as examples of things this film did well.
The action was very elementary, the fight-sequences were all shot with rapid-cut, short take close-ups that tried to mask bland, generic choreography. There was an abundance of action but it was never once awe inspiring as the choreography followed the same techniques with each scene resulting in the same shots over and over just in a different scene – a wide shot of the men about to go at it, then pan in close and deliver a barrage of short cuts that in the end show you nothing.
Most everyone can say the fight-sequences in the original trilogy were in the end, highly over choreographed to the point it was like dance fighting as Statham would inevitably fight his way out of his suit then back into it after using a button down dress shirt to take out a lumbering thug. As silly as it may be to sit back and watch them now, you cannot argue the ambition and energy the scenes had. That was something this film was greatly lacking, any kind of energy at all, as the entire project felt like it was going through the motions of a paint-by-number action romp formula.
Even the car-chases felt slow due to bad choices in angles and frames that pulled you out of the sequences rather than lure you in. An Audi (although the wrong years model given the time-period of the script) racing through the streets of the French Riviera would sound like an adrenaline pumping moment, yet they were as uninspired as I have seen in some time.
By watching this fourth entry in “The Transporter” franchise you can see there was a decent budget for the project, but it was clearly not invested in the right areas. The script was extremely predictable, lifeless and showed a great lack in effort to bring something new to the screen. The action was plentiful however action-less at the same.
In the end, “The Transporter Refueled” was running on empty tanks and brought nothing memorable to the screen and in five-years (if not sooner) you will forget this film ever existed.
– Starring –
Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Loan Chabonal, Gabriella Wright, Tatiana Pajkovic, Radivoje Bukvic, Noémie Lenoir, Anatole Taubman, Wenxia Yu
– Directed By –
Time: 96 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (For sequences of violence and action, sexual material, some language, a drug reference and thematic elements)