‘Transporter Refueled’ sputters off course with a close to empty tank of low-grade story, direction and cast.
Jason Statham, Heart Pounding Action, and a Reason to Care. These are the rules for making a good ‘Transporter’ movie, and this reboot installment is barely following one of three. To make things worse, a very limited and lackluster Blu-Ray experience gives little incentive for curious minds to even put the key in the ignition.
In the action heavy 2015 reboot ‘The Transporter Refueled,’ Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) finds himself behind the wheel and reluctantly ferrying what turns out to be a bank robber and two special packages in a fatal race for vengeance.
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Etc.) – 1.5
‘The Transporter Refueled’ was doomed before the green flag. Without Statham’s signature stoic charisma and a coherent story, the film flounders with an all new cast seemingly tasked with trying to imitate rather than reinvent. The movie never generates a sense of true urgency, instead taking the audience on a bland roll with the foot off the gas (literally).
Despite the film’s best efforts to capture the raw martial arts centric action sequences of the previous films, Ed Skrein’s Frank Martin is shallow and without the same intimidating presence Statham used to popularize the character initially. Putting his lack of Statham qualities aside, Skrein brings nothing new or exciting to the table for audiences to latch on to. While he doesn’t seem like a terrible actor, in the role of Frank Martin Skrein is mediocre at best. Frank Martin should have a certain Bond quality to him that Skrein simply fails to capture.
Don’t expect the audience to find solace on the streets or in the sack, as the fight choreography is often simple or lackluster and the chemistry between Skrein and his romantic interest yawns when it should sizzle. It’s a movie where all the bad guys wait their turn to fight. A movie where they all have guns but rarely pull the trigger.
The best performance in the film is probably given by Ray Stevenson (‘Thor’), but it was lost amongst a futilely cluttered progression. Almost all aspects of story are lost to simplicity as the movie plays out more like a polished series of music videos versus the proper action flick from which is was adapted.
It is never easy to reboot a movie, even more difficult with one that continues to have a rabid cult appreciation AND spawned the action career of what’s now a household name – Jason Statham. Believing that this recipe would do well without the ingredients that made work in the first place was wishful thinking at best.
Entertainment Value – 2
While ‘The Transporter Refueled’ has little to offer in terms of cinematic quality, for a true action buff, the viewing experience can be partially redeemed by a handful of enjoyable chase sequences.
It seems almost as if Camille Delamarre disregards any sense of creativity, refinement or intelligence with his highly contrived final product. Amidst a sparse dusting of attention grabbing sequences Delamarre lays out a cluttered landscape littered with poor imitations from the previous films, cheaply packaged as homage.
While a few unique moments will linger beyond the rolling credits, the disappointment and utter injustice done to the film’s iconic namesake vastly overshadows them.
Re-Watchability – 2
I would perhaps watch this again on television or in passing, so it was not so atrocious as to be banned from my sight for eternity. On the other hand, there was so little keeping me in my seat the first time around that I see little need to re-watch it anytime soon.
Blu-Ray Extras – 2
Aesthetically speaking, the Blu-Ray itself is very nice. As opposed to the typical single color title printed on the blank disc, ‘The Transporter Refueled’ Blu-Ray has a full color graphic and textured embossed font for the logo. On the other hand, the Blu-Ray comes without the sip cover which causes it to loose a bit of its tangibility and shelf presence.
As I mentioned earlier, there is little to the Blu-ray experience with a very limited set of special features. on top of that, the three special featurette’s that comprise the bonus material are unimpressive. “Frank Martin: The Reluctant Hero” and “The Couer Brise: Le Femmes of Refueled” are really just brag pieces trying to sell the new cast with some behind the scenes footage and a lot of ego stroking.
If you’re a ‘Transporter’ fan, then you will likely be conflicted. While you may want to have the whole series for your collection, the transporter refueled is by far the worst of the bunch. Add the fact that Jason Statham is not involved and it gives little reason to even pick up a copy.
- Entertainment Value
Jason Statham, Heart Pounding Action, and a Reason to Care. These are the rules for making a good 'Transporter' movie, and this reboot installment is barely following one of three. To make things worse, a very limited and lackluster Blu-Ray experience gives little incentive for curious minds to even put the key in the ignition. If you're a 'Transporter' fan, then you will likely be conflicted. While you may want to have the whole series for your collection, the transporter refueled is by far the worst of the bunch. Add the fact that Jason Statham is not involved and it gives little reason to even pick up a copy.
‘The Transporter Refueled’ is available for purchase on Blu-ray as well as digital formats.
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