No Stath? No thanks.
If you give Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) a job to do, he will do it. However, it’s got to be by his rules and it’s also got to fit his criteria. That’s why when he hears Anna (Loan Chabanol)’s proposition, he takes it, assuming that it’s going to be another mission of his where he gets to kick some butt, pull-off some fancy moves here and there, and at the end of the day, go back home with a lot more money in his pocket. However, little does Frank know that Anna is up to no good and isn’t a very clean negotiator; she decides, in a way of collateral damage I guess, to take Frank’s dad (Ray Stevenson), hostage. Frank’s clearly not happy about this and doesn’t want to complete the mission, however, Anna makes him a deal: Complete the mission, and then some, and he’ll get his father back and everything will go back to normal. However, if he doesn’t complete the mission, he won’t get his father back and, most likely, he’ll wind-up dead. Because it’s not just Anna that Frank has to deal with, but apparently, there’s now mercenaries involved, which never wind-up good for anyone involved.
Were the original Transporter movies any good? The answer it both yes and no. Yes, because they were stupid, fun and charming-as-hell because of Jason Statham; but no, because they were pretty idiotic at times and definitely seemed to over-stay their welcome around half-way through the second movie. But does that really mean we need a reboot? Especially when there’s already a TV show currently airing that does the job as is?
The answer this time is an astounding no. Especially when the said reboot is as terrible as this.
Basically, this new and not-at-all improved Transporter is a mess about the whole way through. At one point, it wants to be like the older movies where it’s all about a classy-sense of style, but then, at another point, wants to break into this Raid-ish action flick where baddies fly-up out of nowhere, try to kick the hero’s butt, and sadly fail. The same happens here, but when it comes around, it seems oddly-placed in a movie that, quite frankly, is a little too serious for it’s own good.
See, if you’re going to do these types of silly action-thrillers and try to get away with the fact that you’re idiotic, you have to have some fun in the meantime. There are maybe one or two action-sequences where it seemed like director Camille Delamarre decided that it was time to turn the frown upside down and enjoy his time directing this hack-piece, but those times are often too far and few between one another. Not to mention that they’re not nearly enough to save this piece of junk.
Which, honestly, is a bit of a shame because Delmarre’s last flick (Brick Mansions), was actually something of a surprise. Sure, it was all sorts of ridiculous and crazy, but it never backed away from the fact that it had an over-the-top B-movie premise and ran with the ball for as long and as desperately as it could. Here though, that’s hardly anywhere to be found as it seems like Delmarre, whether it be studio or plain and simple creative issues that got in the way, was just going through the motions, waiting to collect his paycheck and, hopefully, moving on to whatever blockbuster Hollywood assigns him to make next.
As much as I feel bad for Delmarre, I can’t help but feel even worse for the cast and crew involved. But most of all, Ray Stevenson himself who, time and time again, seems to be giving it his all in these movies that don’t need a talent like him. A movie like Transporter Refueled is more than lucky to have Ray Stevenson apart of it and you know what? It absolutely shows!
Every chance the dude gets to be cool, suave, funny and somewhat insightful, it totally works. The script is as thin as a bagel without cream cheese, but Stevenson, as usual, finds loops and holes to make something out of nothing. Not only does this sadden me more that Stevenson isn’t a much bigger name than he deserves to be, but that he was actually here to begin with.
But hey, I guess you’ve got to go where the money’s at.
And in the case of Ed Skrein, I hate to say it, but I don’t know how much more money for these kinds of roles will be coming his way. Not to say that Skrein is a bad actor and shouldn’t be hired; it’s just that he doesn’t do a very good job here and makes the film seem all the more weak as a result. Skrein is definitely good-looking, but after awhile, that goes nowhere because he doesn’t quite have the power or the charisma like Statham had with these movies. It’s just another sign that maybe, just maybe, the studios should have let this title go on a bit more without another movie.
Especially one that’s not already with Statham in the lead role.
But of course, it’s hard to put the full blame on Skrein when, honestly, the movie is all-over-the-place. Whatever the Macguffin of this story is, I couldn’t tell you. All I knew about half-way through was that there were some baddies that needed to be dealt with and, for whatever reason, Frank’s dad gets kidnapped so easily and willingly, even despite the fact that he’s supposed to be this older and wiser James Bond-like figure. It doesn’t quite work its way well into the story (with the exception of a neat scene concerning covering up a gunshot wound which I myself will be experimenting soon), and just seems like a manipulative way the movie figured it could keep us watching for a little while even longer.
Even if, at the end of the day and the movie, there’s nothing to see here, really. Just another reboot that didn’t need to even exist in the first place.
Consensus: Messy, dull, and most of all, boring, the Transporter Refueled is a perfect example of why it’s not always best to reboot something that probably didn’t need to be over-extended so much to begin with.
2 / 10