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The Transporter Refueled (2015)
Tonight's Feature Presentation

THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED (2015)

Starring: Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Loan Chabanol, Gabriella Wright, Tatiana Pajkovic

Written By: Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Luc Besson

Directed By: Camille Delamarre

The Shot

The Transporter Refueled is a 96 minute Audi commercial where the lead actor gets upstaged by the guy playing his father.  But really, for streaming eyeball candy, you could do worse.  Especially if there’s beer involved.


The Highball

What Kind Of Cheese Is It?

CHEESE POPCORN.

Not fresh, but who cares?


Pairs Well With...

MICHELOB ULTRA.

They make the cheap, thin beer seem so flashy!

“Quoting Alexandre Dumas?  Like what?  You’re Count D’Artagnan and they’re The Three Musketeers?”

“You’ve read it?”


So, how much do you like car commercials?

No, really; I’m serious about this.  How much?  Because if you really like car commercials – especially Audi commercials – then The Transporter Refueled is everything you’ve ever wanted in a movie and just a wee smidgeon more!

But if you’re not into car commercials…

Oh, come on!  How could anyone resist those sleek lines, that elegant styling?  The finely tuned roar of the engine, the seat belts the driver is always telling people to fasten, the arsenal in the boot, the explosive security system, the… what?  No?  Oh.  Well, then.  You’re not making the Marketing people from Audi very happy, you know.

Anyway.

Its status as an extended Audi commercial aside, The Transporter Refueled might be the latest sequel in a popular action franchise.  Or maybe it’s a remake.  Or a reboot.  Or maybe it’s its own damn thing that stands alone, like cheese.  A case could be made that even the filmmakers themselves don’t know, and it’s doubtful that they expect you care.  Because cars!  Action movie!  Fight scenes!  Guy with an accent calling himself The Transporter!  Does anything else even matter?

You know what?  Sometimes, it really doesn’t, and that’s what the Powers That Be were most certainly counting on when they decided that paying Jason Statham the cash he wanted to do a fourth movie wasn’t a worthwhile investment.  The die thus cast, they grabbed a guy from “Game of Thrones” (Ed Skrein – accent, check; underwear model physique, check; screen presence, oh well…), gave him a couple of hot Audis to sit in (“there’s never been a better time to get behind the wheel of an Audi”), recycled a fair amount of material from the first film (thus making it unclear if this is reboot, remake, sequel, post-dated prequel, or what), and trusted that any drop in the number of people who would only care enough to pay for a look at a new Transporter flick seven years after the last one was released if Jason Statham was in it would be offset by the much smaller amount of money they had to pay Skrein. 

Honestly, I think they were right.  Sure, the result is obviously a low-rent imitation, but it’s a pretty looking low-rent imitation.  The colors pop, the stunts are sufficiently nifty, the wheeled thingies go “zoom,” the explosive thingies go “boom,” and the fights go “sock-biff-pow.”  All right, so the director and the editor obviously didn’t graduate top of their class in the “showcasing action” program, but honestly: if you’ve watched enough stuff from the 80s and 90s (and I’d hope that whatever your age, as an action fan, you have), you’ve seen just as much worse as you have better, and a couple of the scenes are actually quite creative.  (I’m thinking specifically about driving under the airplane and the locked vault dust-up, specifically.)  And however underwhelming Ed Skrein might be compared to Jason Statham, he does get delightfully upstaged by the guy playing his dad, Ray Stevenson, whose charm is completely worth the price of admission in and of itself.  I’ll readily agree that The Transporter Refueled is no honest person’s idea of a revolutionary action flick, but for in-one-eyeball-and-out-the-other entertainment, it’ll do.

Just ignore that whole “plot” thing, especially when the script goes to a certain well too many times.  And forget the fact that the lead actor with the underwear model physique getting upstaged by the guy playing his dad is a positive thing.  And don’t think too much about the kinda-botched ending, either.  In fact, don’t think too much at all.  That’s just going to kill the fun.

Because yes, watered-down and flashy-yet-mediocre though it may be, The Transporter Refueled really is a fun flick if you’re willing to let it be one.  (It goes without saying that there's no need to be familiar with the previous flicks to enjoy this one; indeed, ignorance of them might help.) And it’ll probably be in the bargain bin sooner than later, so hey, bonus!

And remember: there’s never been a better time to drive an Audi.

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- Reviewed by Ziggy Berkeley, October, 2015


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