It feels like just last week I was reviewing a film about a man who has short hair, says few words, and drives an Audi; oh right, I did. Perhaps this attempt is better? Perhaps the movie execs used my suggestion of Transporter versus Fast and Furious? Maybe the Transporter franchise has been reinvigorated? Maybe not.
Jason Statham Ed Skrein we follow Frank whose job is being a transporter of goods, typically illegal goods. He has a set of self-made rules he obeys, such as not looking at the package and not knowing the name of the client to allow for plausible deniability. Of course, as you’ve guessed it, and what has happened in each Transporter film, Frank is forced to break those rules. This time he has been tasked with transporting three women as they commit a series of felonies. Queue ridiculous chase scenes and choreographed fight sequences.
The major drawbacks from this film is its script and the plot, the dialogue between characters make no sense and the plot gets increasingly more insane as the film goes on. However, those problems aren’t crippling to whole product, as the actual story is simple enough to follow so it is easier to forgive the poor dialogue as you can figure out what’s happening without it. The film sounds as though they had to re-recorded all the dialogue as it comes across as dubbed in many scenes.
Where it excels however is with the action, unlike many other action films this year they know their audience wants to see some good action. The consistent use of action scenes changing from fights to car-chases to fighting-car-chases again help distract from the awful dialogue. The action scenes also become progressively more pleasing, although some fight routines don’t feel fluid enough and come off feeling choreographed. The most favourable quality from The Transporter Refueled is Ray Stevenson’s character as the father and his relation with his son. Frank Senior is a great addition and I hope if they plan more films they bring him along for the ride.
Ed Skrein however provides a calmer version of the transporter and doesn’t have the same charm that Jason Statham did in the previous ones. With Statham, he can bounce between being pissed off, to having a laugh and then straight back to pissed off again in an instant. Ed Skrein was calm throughout, too calm. The character demands a level of calmness which comes from the professional manner he posses, but when key characters that should effect the Frank’s emotional state are in danger Ed Skrien fails to show his concern. He says the line that he’s angry, but doesn’t convey that convincingly to the audience.
The Transporter Refueled doesn’t necessarily say that it is a sequel or prequel to the previous Transporter films. This allows it to be its own film, which certainly has a different feel compared to the others. This film attempts to, and somewhat succeeds in entertaining the audience throughout. Whilst the previous iteration are more honest about the set-up; this is a dumb action, just watch Jason Statham punch some guys heads in. Refueled tries to give the audience slightly more. It has more characters and a relatively interesting, although insane, plot. Some of the action scenes are good, there is one in a narrow corridor with filing cabinets that stands out, however none reach the high-speed rush that came from the first Transporter or match the stature of the iconic oil fight scene.
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