Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: The Transporter Refueled

The Transporter Refueled
Director: Camille Delamarre
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Retail: $39.99
Running Time: 96 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Buy Link: Amazon

Product Description:

Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) is the best driver money can buy, willing to deliver anything for a price. But when his father (Ray Stevenson) is kidnapped by a gorgeous gang of thieves, Fran must shift his skills into overdrive to rescue him. Loaded with nonstop action and excitement, The Transporter Refueled is turbo-charged thrill ride full of hairpin twists and dangerous curves!

Billy's Thoughts:

While the original Transporter trilogy wasn't exactly loved by critics, action fans enjoyed Jason Statham's martial arts & stunts. After the third film was released in 2008, the franchise seemed to be over, well, that is until a low-budget television series aired for two-short seasons starting in 2012 with Chris Vance taking over the role of Frank Martin (originally played by Jason Statham). You would have thought it would be the final nail in the coffin, but the producers decided to reboot the franchise for the big-screen with Jason Statham returning. Unfortunately, Statham and the producers had some disagreements, leaving  a new actor (Ed Skrein) to take over the role for this year's The Transporter Refueled, which received mostly negative feedback from critics and did only so-so at the box-office.

The plot starts out like the other films with the former special-operations mercenary Frank Martin taking on a new "transporter" job with three simple rules - no names, no questions and no renegotiation. A woman calling herself Anna (played by Loan Chabanol) tells him to pick her up along with two packages near the bank. Sounds simple enough, but what Frank didn't know was that Anna's pals, Gina (played by Gabriella Wright), Maria (played by Tatjana Pajković) and Qiao (played by Wenxia Yu) just robbed a bank and need him as the getaway driver.

Once again, this is just a typical day for Frank as it's not the first time he has been involved in a heist. To Frank's surprise, the four women kidnaps his father (played by Ray Stevenson) and forces him to help them take down Arkady Karasov, a human trafficker.

After watching The Transporter Refueled, I still don't think it was wise choice of not offering Statham more money to return as Frank Martin as the film would have been more successful with his involvement instead of replacing him with the Ed Skrein, aka the guy that was fired from HBO's Game of Thrones. Nevertheless, Skrein tries his best to play Frank Martin, despite his limited acting and fighting skills.

Don't get me wrong, the movie isn't all that bad or I wouldn't be featuring it under this year's Holiday Gift Guide. The best acting is from Ray Stevenson, who plays Frank's father, a former spy that for some reason keeps getting kidnapped throughout the film. The actresses that play Anna, Gina, Maria and Qiao all give cringe-worthy performances, but at least their pretty easy on the eye. There are a few decent action scenes, nothing comparable to the original trilogy, but entertaining to the say the least. There are plot holes every three minutes, but at the the main plot is better than the one from The Transporter 2. Unless Statham returns for another outing, sadly The Transporter Refueled is probably the final film in the series. Needless to say, I'm still recommending it as a stocking stuffer as it's still a mindless, fun action flick.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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