THE TRANSPORTER REFUELLED. France, 2015, Starring Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Loan Chabanol. Directed by Camille Delamarre. 96 minutes. Rated MA. (Strong violence) .
Well, that’s not a bad title for a rebooting of the Transporter franchise. And, at least given the car chases in this one, the re-fuelling title is quite fitting.
The new transporter is Frank Martin, played by British actor Ed Skrein, tall, a bit gaunt though muscular, fashionable stubble, taking his dark glasses on and off… And his accent is a bit more upmarket than that of his predecessor, Jason Statham. One of the things with Jason Statham is that he could play everything straight but, with slight tongue in cheek and, often, more than a touch of irony. The new transporter is not so much into irony but into a relationship with his father who keeps calling him Junior.
For those who like car chases, there are two big ones – and in the first, it is the police who need better stunt drivers because all of their cars crash quite spectacularly. So that when the time comes for the second chase, this time on the tarmac at Nice Airport, a pilotless plane moving towards crashing, when we see the cars with the label Gendarmes, we know that the worst will happen, that is for the police and their cars. And so it happens. For those who enjoy the chases, lots of glimpses of the French coast, the Riviera, the beaches and mountains. And for those who do not enjoy the chases, lots of glimpses of the French coast, the Riviera, the beaches and mountains – which may bring back memories of visiting these locations. But nothing like the potential crash at Nice airport!
The new transporter, looking like a model in an advertisement on a billboard, has been something of a mercenary and eventually falls foul of fellow soldiers from Eastern Europe who are now controlling prostitution on the Riviera, having promptly massacred the previous African pimps. One of the girls sold into prostitution has decided to get revenge and involves Frank in driving her associates but, to make sure, she and abducts his father who, on retiring from being a spy, is living a life of luxury. He is liberated but very soon after he is abducted again - by the pimps.
Which means a lot of action, the girls getting Frank into all kinds of trouble, Anna, the ringleader setting up a scheme to transfer all the pimp’s finances and causing trouble amongst the men which leads, of course, to a shootout. Except for the main villain who makes a run to escape, to the top of the cliff, the venue, of course, for a spectacular fall after he is shot!
But there is a fair deal of plot, quick editing and pace, a touch of romance, Frank still needing to develop some more humane acting skills to be a romantical lead. And there are some comic touches in the repartee between dad (a genial Ray Stevenson) and Junior.
The film was directed by Camille Delamarre who directed the third of the transporter films as well as Taken 3. The Transporter Refuelled is designed for transporter fans – and, apart from getting over the loss of Jason Statham, they probably won’t be disappointed.
Fr Peter Malone MSC is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.
Released 3rd September 2015.