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The Transporter Gets Refuled
The Transporter Refuled
The Transporter Refueled: “PG-13“ (1 h. 36 min.)
Starring: Ed Skrein, Loan Chabanol, Ray Stevenson, Gabriella Wright, Tatiana Pajkovic
Directed by: Camille Delamarre
Overview of the Transporter series
Back in 2002 we were first introduced to Frank Martin (then played by Jason Statham), an ex-special ops soldier, who was spending his “retirement” as a transporter on the other side of the law. That is to say he specialized in picking up and delivering stuff for people who paid him handsomely to do just that. Frank operated with three rules, 1: "Once the deal is made, it is final", Rule Number 2: "No names", and Rule Number 3: "Never open the package." For his part Frank always completes his contracts. One way, or the other.
The Transporter Boxed Set
The Transporter's past
This initial outing was followed by a pair of sequels (in ’05 & ’08 — again staring Statham) as well as a TV show that lasted two seasons (from 2012-15 staring Chris Vance as Frank Martin. Then in 2015, fans of the series were treated to The Transporter Refueled with Skrein in the title role playing a younger version of Martin in this prequel. When asked why he wasn’t returning to the series Statham had this to say to Vulture “…I would have loved to keep doing it. But they wanted me to sign on and do three more films without even seeing a script, and they offered me less money to do three than I'd get paid for one! So it was a business decision.”
Transporter Refueled Trailer
The Transporter sans Statham
Unfortunately, the absence of Statham was sorely felt by the film which didn’t do very well at the box office pulling in only $16,029,670, which was about half of the $31,715,062 that Transporter 3 did (the other two films did and $25,296,447 and $43,095,856 respectively for 1 & 2 (grosses as reported by Box Office Mojo). Needless to say, Transporter Refueled delivered far too little beyond a handful of decent action sequences, and an interesting if convoluted premise.
The Rules of Transporting
1: "Once the deal is made, it is final", Rule Number
2: "No names", and Rule Number
3: "Never open the package."
Needless to say, the basic premise of this incarnation is every bit as familiar to fans of the series with Frank living a less perilous lifestyle than he had previously, transporting classified packages for questionable people. The film begins in a similar fashion as did #2 with a bunch of hoods attempting to boost Frank’s car (In fact the opening sequence so closely resembled the sequence from the second film we initially assumed that it was not so much a reboot as a remake). Well, as it turns out it isn’t, and Frank takes a contract from Anna (Chabanol) where he picks up her and two other women (all dressed identically in blond page-boy wigs and black mini-dresses) near a bank. As can be expected, Frank has to outrun the cops leading into an extended chase sequence.
Here comes the action
Car chases and more
However, after he delivers the women he finds himself thrust into danger again when Anna — a high priced call girl and her sister prostitutes rope frank into their planned revenge on the group of men who lured them into the world’s oldest profession. The plot involves the women kidnapping frank’s dad (Stevenson) and using him to leverage Frank into doing their bidding. Well, as it turns out, nothing ever quite goes as easy as expected, and the “simple” plan soon goes off the rails and involves more chase sequences, fights, and gun battles. As stated, the film is but a shadow of the better-made versions staring Statham. Still, if you are into this type of fast-paced action and high-octane car chases the film isn’t half bad, and Skrein makes for a passible Frank Martin.