Friday, April 15, 2016

The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Following Jason Statham's refusal to reprise the role, Luc Besson's EuropaCorp did a soft reboot on the franchise with Transporter Refueled. It has the same exact elements as the previous three movies; the only change in Refueled in anchoring the Transporter character by bringing in his father (Frank Sr.) and making the mission more personal than ever. Transporter Refueled doesn't reinvent the action genre (or the franchise for that matter), but it sure is a mindless, enjoyable, time-killer popcorn movie.

Ed Skrein does an admirable job filling Statham's shoes as the titular character. The new Transporter is the same stoic, disciplined, yet bland action hero that was first introduced over a decade ago in 2002. Those familiar with the other movies produced by Luc Besson (Fifth Element, The Taken franchise, Lucy, The Brick Mansion, and the Transporter trilogy of course) should have a clear expectation of what Transporter Refueled is going to be. The action scenes (i.e. numerous car chases and hand-to-hand combats) are executed well, but the plotting and story are definitely not the strengths of these movies.

The story follows four prostitutes who fancy themselves as the Three (or Four) Musketeer and quote Dumas' work in almost every scene they are in. The musketeers are organizing a coup against the mob boss who is running their prostitution ring. Success of this coup relies on the Transporter's cooperation - so to coerce Frank Jr. to help them, they kidnap his father, Frank Sr.... Obviously the plot is super cheesy (for the lack of a better term), but at the same time, it is mindless and doesn't require too much cognitive effort from the viewer.

So for a late Sunday evening when the blues have set in, Transporter Refueled could be good choice. I give it 7/10.

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