So it seems Hollywood is sticking to its recipe of rebooting films. It feels like we are back in the 90s when rebooting was as normal as wearing iridescent makeup. Yep, what is a classic film without a reboot?
Seems like Hollywood is hearing chants of “we want more” more often than “please do not tamper with the original.” This has become even more apparent with their latest offering in the Transporter film franchise. They sat down, came up with a Transporter series and then thought, hey what if we had a new Transporter film! A decision was made and voila ‘Transporter Refueled’ was born sans original Transporter baddie and sans everyone’s favourite Jason Statham.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, Statham has been replaced. Boo-hoo for everyone who has actually followed the Transporter film franchise and hello Ed Skrein from the ‘Transporter virgins’. The producers of ‘Lucy’ and the ‘Taken’ trilogy introduce us to Skrein, now Frank Martin, a former special-ops mercenary, transporting classified packages for elite and sometimes dangerous clients. Anna (Loan Chabanoal), a mysterious client asks for Frank’s help with the delivery of a package. Unbeknownst to him because of the rules he has, he ends up, not only on the wrong side of the law but also of a very ruthless Russian pimp Radivoje Bukvic played by Arkady Karasov when Anna and her three cohorts perform some of the greatest robberies and heists time after time.
As the quest for Anna’s revenge on her pimp begins, so does the fun and action in ‘Transporter Refueled’. The actor still sticks to the old rules of handling a package, “The deal never changes”, “No names” and “Never open the package,” which are all thrown out of the window when Frank breaks his own rules making his job even more difficult than it has ever been. It is not the best Transporter film but it is entertaining, thrilling and even with its overly laid back choreography for an action film, it is worth watching. Skrein is no Statham, he will not make you rain popcorn on other audience members with his moves but he sure is a great actor, a sexy one at that.
Movie lovers will enjoy it if they can just get over the fact that there is no Jason Statham. It is okay to miss the man but one should not let that dampen the mood. There are high octane car chases, out of this world and insane stunts and exhilarating fight scenes, overwhelming to the senses in a way. Another great thing about this film is the women, cars and scenery, all which will make your heart skip a beat or two.
Skrein makes a very suitable substitute for Statham. He is smart, cool, exudes confidence and strength and boy oh boy, has a knock em dead British accent. The relationship he and Stevenson portray as father and son is excellent and refreshing, making the film not just a 96 minute ad for the Audi S8, but a heart-rendering partnership as the two steal the show with such charm in every scene.
Go watch Transporter Refueled to enjoy it and experience something new. Do not go watch it so that you can tear it apart and pick out its shortcomings, and do not say just how great the scenes would have been if they were acted by Statham. We can’t always get what we want. The James Bond film franchise has seen many changes, different cars, different faces, so it’s time to welcome the possibility of a new transporter, after all the only thing that remains constant is change. ‘Transporter Refueled will not win an Oscar for the ‘Best Action’ film but it sure does top up every other reboot that’s been made thus far.