“The Transporter Refueled” is a reboot (I think? It has never really been confirmed if this is a reboot or prequel) of the Transporter franchise, but this time Ed Skrein gets behind the wheel to play the titular character instead of Jason Statham. Here the Transporter must help out four call girls who are looking to get revenge on a kingpin (or something along those lines; this film is a mess). Editor-turned-director Carmille Delamarre directs.
The last Transporter film was in 2008 and in the seven years since I haven’t heard a single person clamoring for another sequel. In fact, “Transporter 3” is often referred to as one of the worst edited action films of all-time, alongside “Taken 2.” So naturally it makes sense that they hire the guy who edited those two films to direct this one, right?
Like I said above, this movie is a mess and I have no idea where to start with it. I guess I’ll begin with how lazy and stupid it is. In the film’s opening scene, a bunch of men are shot in front of a group of prostitutes. The pimp then orders the girls to get back to work…with the massacred bodies still lying on the pavement. I’m not an expert in how ladies-of-the-night operate, but I have to imagine corpses are bad for business.
That scene takes place in 1995, and then we are transported (get it?) 15 years later, which after a quick calculation means it’s 2010. That would be fine and dandy, except characters use iPhone 6’s and drive 2015 vehicles. So either the movie was too lazy to add 15 to 1995, or they didn’t care about being accurate to the time period, both of which are sins.
The action in the film is at times fine, there are a few well-choreographed car chases, but those moments are diluted and ruined by constant slow-motion and quick edits. And when I say quick edits, I’m talking five shots in less than four second. The same type of edits you may find in, say, “Taken 2” or “Transporter 3.”
The man behind this film, and other gems such as the Taken trilogy, “The Family” and the worst film of last year, “Lucy,” is Luc Besson and he is the Adam Sandler of the action world. He continuously gives his friends jobs, and his films are usually awful, featuring near no plot, shoddy editing and villains with horrible accents and even worse motivations; and Besson makes no effort to try and change formula this time around.
The best part of “Refueled” was when Skrein is fighting a group of henchmen and he sticks a floatation ring around one of them and the bad guy yells, “you jerk!”. I laughed out loud. Obviously not the film’s intention, but most of the writing is that bad throughout.
I was never bored while watching “The Transporter Refueled” per se, but I was also almost never interested. I checked my phone at least five times and at one point even responded to a text, which I *never* do. The film is set in the incredibly beautiful Monaco, so every establishing shot is gorgeous, but honestly aside from that there isn’t much this movie does right. It’s not frustratingly awful like “Fantastic Four” or annoyingly bad like “Pixels,” but “The Transporter Refueled” fails to accomplish what it set out to do, whatever the heck that aspiration was.
Critics Rating: 4/10