I didn’t know The Transporter series and its original star Jason Statham ran out of gas. I loved Statham in the role and loved the first three films. Though I saw no reason to change, it apparently did run out of gas, needed to be refueled and no one bothered to tell me.
Newcomer Ed Skrein is the new Frank Martin. Frank is living in the South of France and hangs out with his dad a lot. Dad is played nicely by Ray Stevenson. Martin gets hired by Loan Chabonol’s Anna and her three lady of the night friends. They’re trying to escape a vicious pimp who has more or less imprisoned them for years.
How they make their escape and how they get Martin and his papa to participate is — while not particularly original — clever. And complicated. Once The Transporter Refueled gets to the predictable bang-bang shoot-em-up at the end, you’re yawning and praising the producers for at least making the film short and to the point.
Skrein is horrible in the part. His acting skills are major league limited. All lines are delivered in a flat monotone. And it’s almost like he’s in a different movie than his co-stars. Stevenson, Chabonol and their co-star ladies and the bad guys all have a lot of fun with their parts.
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Skrein is buff and tough, but he more or less sleepwalks through the movie; a movie packed with the usual half-dozen boring, and not so creative, car chases, and half-dozen badly edited fight scenes and places where bullets aplenty fly.
So did it need refueled? No. But after the refueling — while not as high an octane as Statham’s three — it does have enough fuel in the tank to make it interesting until it runs out of gas just before the third act.
Director: Camille Delamarre
Stars: Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Loan Chabonol
Mr. Movie rating: 3 stars
Rated PG for mature themes. It opens Friday, Nov. 5 at the Carmike 12 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.