"You know, in my day, when you wanted to make a cup of coffee you just had to boil the water and strain the grinds. Now it seems like you need a PhD.
Dad, you have a PhD.
That's a juicer."
I can remember the first "The Transporter" from 2002 as an energetic and fast-paced film with Frank Martin racing through the streets of the French south coast with his car. Frank's driving skills were unrivaled and he used this talent for anyone who would pay for it. The next two films continued on this momentum. All films had the same in common. The story was straightforward and simplistic. You could call it a typical weekend movie. A movie you'd go for without thinking.
I wasn't waiting for a reboot. The only reason I watched this, was to see how Ed Skrein would do as the tough courier. Because honestly, "The Transporter" is and will always be Jason Statham. The controlled fighting style and his dry humor are characteristics he holds a patent on. The person who tries to play the role of Martin again, will have to do his utmost best to equal this (let alone improve it). However, I admit that Skrein wasn't so bad. Already during the very first scene in the garage, I had a feeling that he'd do just fine. The same quiet, calm approach. The same conciseness. Also a not so talkative man. And when he has to give a reply, he does that in a grumbling and almost incomprehensible way. And he sticks to his self-imposed rules.
The whole movie centers on a Russian prostitution network around the French Riviera. It's leaded with an iron fist by Karasov (Radivoje Bukvić), an unscrupulous Russian pimp who at least has more brain cells than the lovely ladies who work for him. Just like the three ladies of pleasure Anna (Loan Chabanol), Gina (Gabriella Wright), Qiao (Wenxia Yu) and Mary (Tatiana Pajković). They came up with the brilliant plan to kidnap Frank's father (Ray Stevenson) and so put pressure on him so he would help them take revenge. Revenge because of the inflicted suffering and the ruined lives of these young ladies.
"The transporter refueled" is just what you would expect. A quite simple story without much quibbling and with one action scene after the other. The fights are well choreographed. Skrein also makes use of attributes which are lying around. Although he's not as muscled as Statham, Skrein keeps control over every situation and at the same time he appears to have a decent stamina. There are also some not bad-looking car chases. In particular the one at the airport is pretty spectacular. The most successful part of this "Transporter" reboot, is the contribution by Ray Stevenson. This resulted in a few light-hearted chuckle moments.
Yet I couldn't get rid of the feeling that I was watching a faint imitation of the original. There was really nothing we haven't seen before. A clichéd film that looks like an extended commercial about Audi. This is what i call product placement. Also the well-known annoyances were present in this film. Despite the fact that Frank is in the minority all the time, he still manages to leave everyone behind in wrinkles. And sure he has a very fast car. But even with a 2CV he could shake off his pursuers without a problem, because they are too stupid to drive in a proper manner anyway. For me, they may close up this franchise. There's no pep anymore, the story is told, the fuel tank is empty ... It doesn't need to be refueled again.
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