The Transporter Refueled
2015 seems to be the year for revivals, with Terminator Genisys kicking off blockbuster season and Fantastic Four sitting comfortably in the middle: Luc Besson’s Transporter franchise is the latest to the get the reboot treatment.
The Transporter Refueled kicks off with an origin story for Anna (Loan Chabanol), the victim of human trafficker and primary villain Yuri. Fast forward 15 years and Anna, along with three more of Yuri’s victims, has cooked up an elaborate scheme to get out of prostitution for good. Enter the titular character, Frank Martin (Ed Skrein), a driver/courier who’s don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy makes him popular in the Riviera’s criminal underworld. Anna hires the Transporter and abducts his father, the newly retired Frank Sr. (Ray Stevenson), as collateral.
What follows is a fairly standard action flick with adrenaline-fuelled chases, increasingly outlandish stunts and well choreographed fight scenes.
Skrein has big shoes to fill, taking over for Jason Statham in the lead role, but for a relatively unknown actor he pulls it off well. He’s likeable and brings a little bit more emotion to the role than Statham did. Ray Stevenson is charming as ever as Frank Sr and the two have a believable, natural chemistry. They might not attain the comedic heights of Sean Connery and Harrison Ford in The Last Crusade but their banter is a high point.
Elsewhere, things fare less well. The script is dull and clunky, and, while a lot of the poor acting can be blamed on that, there are a few weak links in the cast. The villains are bland, the story is predictable and the creators seemed to have ignored the show-don’t-tell rule completely with every piece of information or symbolism painstakingly explained.
On the whole, it’s a pretty dull experience. There’s not much to stand out here and it’s a shame. With a better script and a stronger cast of minor characters The Transporter Refueled could have been the explosive revitalisation Besson set out to create for the franchise.
The Transporter Refuelled is released nationwide on 4th September 2015.
Watch the trailer for The Transporter Refueled here: