The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Luc Besson has made some very entertaining movies. Besides the Transporter series, he's done the Taken series, and some very good standalone movies like The Homesman, 3 Days to Kill, and Lockout. So, it's not like he doesn't have lots of ideas that can wind up getting turned into movies. Why would he feel the need to go back and reboot one of his own movie franchises? This series hasn't exactly gotten better with each movie, and at some point you just have to let it die. I don't know if Statham decided that he didn't want to do another transporter movie or something like that, but rebooting it by putting a guy in the same role with the same name and telling him to do his best Jason Statham impression cannot result in a success.

Poor Ed Skrein probably thought this was going to be his big breakout role. Yes, he had three episodes of game of thrones, but three episodes of game of thrones means that you're just some face lost in a sea of good actors, adequate actors, set pieces, horses, and copious breasts. He stands out in this movie only because he's the main character, and he's doing a terrible Jason Statham impression. I watch this movie with a friend, and his response upon seeing Ed was to comment that they could have at least gotten a good-looking person for the role. An inauspicious start to be sure.

Ray Stevenson plays Ed's father who has some mysterious past that they only hint at, and I couldn't be bothered to care one where the other. His character is worldly and supposedly good for action scenes that he is never in, as you don't want him taking away from Ed's complete mastery of action scenes. When you reboot, you will inevitably be compared to the original. And comparing Ed's action scenes with Statham's is like comparing a Toyota Camry to a Porsche 911. Yes, they both get you from point A to point B, but one does it with a lot more panache.

All that aside, the biggest problem in the movie is the poorly written script. I don't know if you've ever seen a car hit a fire hydrant before, but it's not just a question of hitting it at the right angle with your Audi S8's plastic bumper cover to knock off a nut that lets it spray water onto the pavement. There's a lot more physics involved, but not in this movie. In fact, the Audi comes away unscathed from the plastic on metal hits. It's this kind of lack of attention to detail on plot points that turn out to be too major. I mean, at one point we have an action scene because our hero finds himself in a maintenance break room that he can't get out of because it has a freezer style locking door that locks from the inside and requires a key. And this key is evidently only held by one of the maintenance workers. In what world is a break room locked from the inside?

Anyone know if the fire marshal
approved this break room door?
These aren't trivial little bits that I'm just being pedantic about. This is how the entire movie is written. It doesn't make any sense, it doesn't even need to be there, but it's the method that is being used to generate scenes in which our hero can fight miscellaneous bad guys. In fact, the main storyline happens because a woman deceives our hero, and she seems to do it for no good reason. She impishly refers to her two friends as "packages" when originally making the deal, and this causes confusion in the middle of a bank robbery. Now, she was hiring this guy to do illegal transportation in the first place. Why not just tell them you have two other passengers? If she had, most of the rest of the movie wouldn't have taken place.

Acting was bland
Dialogue was boilerplate
Plot was laughable
Action was weak
Direction was lackluster

Bottom Line: Go back and watch the original and just pretend that you're watching a reboot.



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