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The Transporter Refueled Review

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The Transporter Series is one of those franchises that is more or less critic-proof. Regardless of what you hear or read about it, there is an audience that will go see this film for one simple reason; it's mindless, nonsense, entertaining fun.

Rebooting a series without it's main star is no easy task, especially when you consider for all their silliness the previous movies turned Jason Statham into a credible action star. Sure they were plot-lite and brainless but when it came to exhilarating action they delivered in spades. This time out, Londoner Ed Skrein fills the tailored suit of Frank Martin, an ex-SAS fighter who specialises in a not-so-legal brand of courier service.


Martin finds himself embroiled in plot that involves human trafficking, a bunch of super-spy prostitutes and the Russian mafia. Not only that, but his dad, Frank Snr, can't seem to stop getting himself kidnapped and relies on his ass-kicking son to get him out of trouble. If this all seems completely ludicrous, and yet perfectly suited to the series you've come to love, then you're in for another treat. The Transporter Refueled is more of the same, and that's not entirely a terrible thing.

The series has earned a reputation for increasingly insane stunts and this entry is no different. It's a little heavier on product placement, and Skrein never quite fills the mighty boots of Statham, but all the ingredients are there. For all of the badly written dialogue and for every over-used cliche and brainless plot twist there's a solid bit of action; a physics defying stunt or slick car chase that'll leave you smiling. In fact, the biggest problem the series now faces is that since the last entry in 2008, the Fast & Furious franchise has upped the ante for four-wheeled carnage, wanton destruction and crowd pleasing action and given the budget differences, there's no comparison.


Throw in the endlessly entertaining father-son dynamic of Frank Snr and Jnr trying to get the job done while staying out of trouble, and some great chemistry between Skrein and Ray Stevenson and you've got something which is sleek and polished and, crucially, a bit of fun, even if it never quite feels like the finished product.

Statham's absence undoubtedly casts a shadow over the film, and truth be told there really isn't anyone else that could have pulled off playing Frank Martin with quite the flair that he had for the part. Ed Skrein does his best, and given time may manage to make the part his own in the way Statham did. Based on the evidence of The Transporter Refueled, he's at least earned the right to slip behind the wheel for another outing.


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The Movie Bit: The Transporter Refueled Review
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