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Review: The Transporter: Refueled

Ed Skrein stars in Europacorp's TRANSPORTER: REFUELED

What does anyone expect from a movie like The Transporter: Refueled? Well, the obvious answer is the action that it promises. With this being the fourth installment of the series, asking for more would be dangerous. I mean, their ideas are probably stretched out at this point, plus Jason Statham is absent.

In his place is Ed Skrein starring as Frank Martin, a former special-ops mercenary whose new job entails transporting goods under a specific set of rules. His goal has always been to do the job, remain unattached and move on, but that’s nearly impossible in this case once his father (Ray Stevenson) gets kidnapped by a group of femme-fatales out for revenge on a Russian kingpin. With no time to waste, Martin prepares for battle with the hopes of saving his father’s life.

I admit that I have no idea who Ed Skrein was, but I found out that he was (or is) on Game of Thrones. While watching the movie, I also found out that he has very little charisma and appears to have virtually no chance of being a leading man in big projects. For an actor like him, it’s tough to pass on this kind of offer, but I’m sure they could have gotten someone with a bit more energy than this guy has.

One thing that hurts him is his complete lack of depth. He’s not supposed to have the most personality, but you need more than he’s able to offer. It also doesn’t help that he whispers through the entire movie. I don’t know if this was done in order to make him sound tougher or something, but it comes off as odd when everyone else is speaking at a normal tone in basically every scenario.

Another issue that The Transporter: Refueled has is the level of intelligence and knowledge the women have. I bring this up because they’re women who have been prostitutes since they were young girls. I’m not saying that prostitutes don’t have the ability to learn, but it’s hard to see how and when they found the time to gain all of this intricate knowledge of the stuff that they’re dabbling in throughout the film because they wouldn’t have the time or the freedom to do so.

Also, if they’re so intelligent, why couldn’t they come up with better plans that could have seen them avoid most of the trouble they found themselves in? If they could do that, they’d also be smart enough to just leave. If they have so much time to learn all of this stuff, that would mean they’re not being watched or controlled much, so they would have plenty of time to get out of there before anyone noticed. Instead of doing that and getting the authorities involved, they come up with an insanely complicated scheme that’s guaranteed to have several people being fitted for a toe tag at the nearest morgue.

In real life, the whole point of being a prostitute in these situations is that your mind is so messed up that you can’t leave. They clearly want to escape and devise a plan to do so, so they’re in a frame of mind that will allow them to see something’s wrong. Aside from mental control, the only way that these women would be forced to stay in a situation like this would be if you kept them trapped somehow physically. Since the Russian kingpin doesn’t even notice that they’re gone at first, it would be hard to believe that he was physically forcing them to stay.

That’s just me pointing out a major issue if you’re going to nitpick and ask for a more believable premise. With all of that being said, it’s fair to assume that anyone interested in seeing The Transporter: Refueled doesn’t really care if it makes sense or not. Interested parties want it to be fun and action packed. Some of those people will not be disappointed even if what’s in store isn’t great or very memorable.

The primary issue that I have with the action is that it takes a while for it to actually start-up. Although it’s only decent at its best, it should have come sooner and faster than it does. In the early portions of this movie, we’re instead given a bunch of talking sequences where you may lose track of what the storyline actually is supposed to be about. I have no idea how they are able to actually pull that off here, but they manage to do so.

Not only that, but the first two action scenes literally have nothing to do with the movie or its plot. I guess they had to find a way to get the transporter guy involved in what’s going on, so they give us a couple of meaningless fights that didn’t serve any real purpose other than to add something they knew they lacked. It’s not important to some, but having the fights and shootouts mean something helps since they can further the story or assist in telling us something about the characters or the situations.

After watching The Transporter: Refueled, it’s easy to see why Jason Statham has no interest in doing anymore of these. If this is all they have to offer, there’s no need to even keep pushing them out for mass consumption. As a fan of action movies, I want all of these features to be worthwhile. In order to do that, you’re going to need far more than what’s being showcased this time around. You’re better off skipping this movie and saving your money for something that deserves it.

Rating: PG-13

Director: Camille Delamarre

Ed Skrein
Ray Stevenson
Loan Chabanol
Radivoje Bukic
Gabriella Wright
Anatole Taubman
Tatiana Pajkovic
Noémie Lenoir

Film Length: 96 minutes

Release Date: September 4, 2015

Distributor: EuropaCorp

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