Friday, May 6, 2016

Film Review: The Transporter Refueled (2015)

The Transporter Refueled (Review)
France/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"I disliked the dialogue, the characters were flimsy, the plot was dull, and the action was forgettable."

Frank (Ed Skrein), known as the Transporter, is tossed into a web of crime when Anna (Loan Chabanol), a prostitute, hires him for a job...

The Transporter Refueled is a reboot of The Transporter series. This plot follows Frank, the Transporter. Frank is hired by Anna, a prostitute for Karasov, to transport two packages. He receives his payment and accepts. He's surprised to find the two packages are actually women who resemble Anna and they just robbed a bank. To his dismay, he also finds Anna and her accomplices have kidnapped Frank's father in order to force him to help them get revenge on Karasov. So, they go around stealing from Karasov's associates, Frank pummels a few people, some cars crash, and so on. In terms of plot, it's really nothing special. It all leads to a very mediocre ending.

The Transporter Refueled is bad. It is an ultra-cheesy and generic action movie. I can usually handle cheesy films, especially when it adds to the charm, but this was just too cringey. This is one of those films where 90% of the dialogue consists of cheesy one-liners – and none of them are very good. You're better off muting the film and dubbing it yourself. I bet you can come up with better dialogue. The plot is also bad. It's a convoluted (not confusing) crime movie, trying to twist itself until it snaps. A bigger issue was the lack of a real villain. Aside from the first scene, the film never vilifies Karasov. Considering the constant deception Anna displays (and her atrocious dialogue), you may end up disliking her more than the actual human trafficker!

"Hey! You're being too hard on it! You need to go outside and get re-fueled." (<probably could have been a line in the movie.) So, let's say I go in with my mind turned off and enjoy the action sequences. That seems like the right thing to do, right? Well, although the action in this film is decent, there isn't quite enough to remedy the film's bigger issues. There was probably only one memorable chase in this film. The fist fights were mostly underwhelming, especially when compared to the quality of martial arts movies nowadays. And, let's be honest with ourselves here, Ed Skrein doesn't have the body mass of a Jason Statham. So, you end up with some disappointing action scenes and some horrible one-liners mistaken for wit.

Ed Skrein plays Jason Statham Frank in this film. I know I poked fun at Statham for playing himself for so long, but I have to give him credit – Skrein could not capture the same snark, charm, or athleticism as Statham. Skrein's performance is stiff and his 'charisma' is unnatural. Although some of the performances are decent, the entire cast suffer from the horrible dialogue. The cinematography was okay. I liked most of the music, too. The film is directed by Camille Delamarre; Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, and Luc Besson handled the writing. Considering this is a by-the-books reboot, I'm surprised to see three credited writers. What exactly were they writing? Were they sitting around trying to see who can come up with the 'wittiest' one-liner? The direction is decent and I can see promise in it, but Delamarre needs a better screenplay. He has great potential as an action director.

Overall, The Transporter Refueled is a bad film. I vaguely remember the original trilogy, which I'm sure had its fair share of cheese, but this is just overdone. I disliked the dialogue, the characters were flimsy, the plot was dull, and the action was forgettable. It's not the worst film I've ever seen, but it just failed to entertain. I can't recommend it.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood.

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