The Transporter: Refueled

Posted by Joel Copling on September 3, 2015

One thing that "The Transporter: Refueled" has going for it is that it's practically plotted via efficiency. This is not a movie with a lot of fat to be excised from it, but on the other hand, what remains is the stuff of filling an action quota. Not a lot of it is actually involving. To be more frank, it's both dull and thin, with a protagonist whose most charming moment is when he says, "Killing's not my thing," a quartet of female mercenaries who are only that much more interesting, and a trio of antagonists who sadly have mustaches too short to twirl. The screenplay by Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, and Luc Besson isn't about characters, though, which should obvious: It's about constantly bridging the gap between scenes of vehicular carnage and hand-to-hand combat.

That aspect is at least accomplished with a general sense of geography by director Camille Delamarre and editor Julien Rey, though the laws of physics (Our protagonist jet-skis on land to crash into a car into whose windows he soars far too gracefully in order to exit the driver-side door with calm, cool collectedness), medicine (Our protagonist's father makes a most strange request, medical in nature, for all the nearest spiderwebs, and you absolutely read that right), and common sense (Our protagonist puts his car on cruise control for no discernible reason other than to dispatch baddies and reenter the car merely seconds later) are all but thrown out the window. This isn't really surprising, one supposes. It's the way the film approaches all of these things with earnest seriousness.

In that way, though, it shares a personality with said protagonist, Frank Martin (Ed Skrein), whose occupation as driver should be clear by two of the above examples. It turns out that Frank is a passive protagonist, though, as the central mission is headed by Anna (Loan Chabanol), who wants to defund her crime czar of a boss Karasov (Radivoje Bukvic) of all his money. That's really the extent of the plot, which is a clothesline for random "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" references involving Frank's father and namesake (Ray Stevenson), other crime bosses who might as well be interchangeable with Karasov, fight sequences of increasing ludicrousness, weirdly out-of-place and fetishistic treatment of and violence toward women (particularly a sex-trafficking joke and the outcome of who lives, who dies, and whose physical punishment is most severe in the process of the movie's trajectory), and a generally disinterested tone that carries over to the audience. In fact, the writing and editing process of this review for "The Transporter: Refueled" took less than half an hour, so take from that what you will.

Film Information

Ed Skrein (Frank Martin), Ray Stevenson (Frank Martin Sr.), Loan Chabanol (Anna), Gabriella Wright (Gina), Tatiana Pajkovic (Maria), Wenxia Yu (Qiao), Radivoje Bukvic (Arkady Karasov), Lenn Kudrjawizki (Leo Imasov), Anatole Taubman (Stanislas Burgin), Noemie Lenoir (Maissa), Yuri Kolokolnikov (Yuri).

Directed by Camille Delamarre and written by Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, and Luc Besson.

Rated PG-13 (violence/action, sexual material, language, a drug reference, thematic elements).

96 minutes.

Released on September 4, 2015.