The Transporter Refueled: An Uninventive Flunk in the Famous Action Series
Ed SkreinGabriella Wright...
Action & AdventureThriller
In 1 Cinema
Taking itself a little too seriously, the fourth installment in The Transporter series – the Euro-action film franchise which helped put Jason Statham on the road to action-superstardom – is, as it was probably expected by many, not as snappy, brawny or as engaging as its predecessors.
Working from a script written by Luc Besson, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage and with Brick Mansions’ director Camille Delamarre behind the lens, The Transporter Refueled is filled with cinematic absurdities and it is once again centered on the skillful, getaway driver, Frank Martin (Skrein).
Servicing the elite in the south of France, Frank’s ‘no-names and no-questions asked’ transportation business has been thriving and he is soon recruited by the mysterious femme-fatale of sorts, Anna (Chabanol); an ex-prostitute looking to take revenge on her previous employer, ruthless Russian crime lord named Arkady (Bukvic), who has been profiting from exploiting women such as herself for years.
However, after agreeing to abide to Frank’s long-list of rules, Anna, accompanied by three other former prostitutes, quickly changes her tune and decides to have Frank’s ex-spy of a father – Frank Sr. (Stevenson) – kidnapped in order to keep Frank Jr. accommodating to their specific needs. Drawing him into a personal high-stakes game of revenge, Frank has no choice but to comply and help Anna and her crew of blonde-wigged criminals get what they want.
Stepping in for Jason Statham is the handsome Londoner and former rapper, Ed Skrein, who allegedly abandoned his role as Daario Naharis in HBO’s Game of Thrones in order to star in this film. He is definitely no match for Statham’s cool and I-can-handle-it-all machismo but, he does manage to hold his own despite his acting limitations which, happen to be evident throughout most of the movie’s minutes.
Meanwhile, the villains of the story are rather uninspiring and the writers can’t seem to stay away from the clichés and the stereotypes that surround their Eastern European roots, while Chabanol proves to be one of the most uninteresting and underdeveloped female characters to hit the screen.
Adding to the story’s very own demise is the overuse of the slow-motion technique and the fast but, technically uninventive action-sequences – with the exception of the car flying through an airport tunnel and into the building terminal – which Delamarre embellishes with a heavy dose of shakiness and blurriness. The dialogue is weak, the logic is nonexistent and the plot holes are aplenty.
Overall, it feels like no real thought went into neither the writing nor the production process to make The Transporter Refueled a must-see actioner. It may be ‘refueled’ but it sure looks like it’s running on empty.