Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) is the Transporter. He moves people and packages from one place to another in his tricked out Audi S8, guaranteed, no questions asked.
His special skills include fancy driving and effective fisticuffs. Although sometimes thrown into sticky situations, Martin has a flawless record.
Anna (Loan Chabanol) is a femme fatale, high-priced prostitute working in the French Riviera. She’s also about to rob her gangster overlords of their hundreds of millions in Euros. In order to do it, she’ll need a driver that guarantees delivery.
We say, “We would rather use Canada Post.”
TAYLOR: The Transporter: Refueled is really Transporter 4, but the producers want you to know this is a reboot. We don’t have Jason Statham anymore, we have Ed Skrein. Who, you ask. I don’t know. He’s some guy from television’s Game of Thrones, who quit the show to go make a boring action flick. We’ve seen him around. We’ll see him more.
Producer Luc Besson (and his usual gang; Besson keeps using the same people to produce the same movies), again gives one of his babies to his former editor, Camille Delamarre (Brick Mansions), to direct. And again it feels weird. I loved the scenery, the driving and fighting was fine, but the awful dialogue erupting from such extreme characters came close to making me laugh several times.
HOWE: The dialogue was awful. In fact, it was worse than awful. I don’t know if it was down to editing or the script itself, both were as bad as the other. During the conversations between the characters, replies came so fast they felt false, robotic in some instances. As for emotions from each character, let them smile, cry, show that they are hurt or something, anything in fact. The only one who looked like he had some acting ability was the actor portraying Martin’s dad, whatever his name was.
TAYLOR: Ray Stevenson, probably most known for the Thor movies. His strength was subtlety, something lacking in this reboot. As I’ve stated before, a car chase is a car chase. A car jumping into an airport is no different than jumping out of a skyscraper, or jumping out of an airplane with parachutes attached. As I’m watching these action flicks, I’m keeping tabs on the plot. Who is doing what and most importantly why? All these films are going to have car chases and fight sequences. Without some interesting reason for stories to unfold in the first place, there is nothing making The Transporter: Refueled unique. It’s adolescent posturing, French style, simultaneously noxious and boorish.
HOWE: It’s been a long time since I have watched an action movie bad enough to make me wish it would end. There are so many things wrong with this film: the acting, the plot, the same car chase in every movie, the same fight scene in every movie, the list goes on. If you want your action movie fix and haven’t seen it yet, watch Hitman: Agent 47, it’s far more entertaining and fun.
TAYLOR: Or see Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation. It’s better than both this and Hitman. But all these films have colons and hyphens in their names. They are subcategories of memories, brought to the surface by greed and laziness. They are not original, nor art, they are just product. Sometimes the greatest power modernity can offer is the ability to choose who doesn’t get your money.
– Howe gives The Transporter: Refueled 1.5 exploding key fobs out of 5.
– Taylor gives it 1 sarcastic standing ovation out of 5.
Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.