The Transporter Refueled: Predictable dialogues and bland performances

See this one if you enjoy watching cars drifting an unnatural amount and panoramic shots of Europe.

The Transporter Refueled (Nguoi Van Chuyen: Tai Xuat) is known a combination of words you never thought you would utter? ‘I miss Jason Statham’. When Luc Besson, credited as writer and producer in this reinvented Transporter franchise, concocted Frank Martin’s new avatar — with Skrein in the driver’s seat — he forgot to add personality to it. And that’s not even the beginning of this film’s woes.

Considering how often Frank’s three basic rules are flaunted. It’s a miracle he still bothers repeating them. For the uninitiated: Once the deal is made, it is final; no names; never open the package. However, when Frank, who is in the middle of a bonding session with his father Frank Sr (a too-cool-for-his-shoes Stevenson), gets a call from Anna, all bets are off. A former prostitute, she is seeking revenge against those who wronged her and will not stop till she is ‘fully out’. A deal is struck, she obviously changes it, brings along more accomplices, they need to get out fast, and car chases happen. Then they happen again. The film should have ended there, with Anna victorious. But it unfortunately continues with the robbed parties then making a counter attack. By Frank’s own admission, he could have walked away any time, but he sticks around anyway.

The Transporter Refueled have fancy suits, fast cars, manly watches, copious amounts of product placement. Audi and Omega sure paid up. It is all there. It even manages to eke out some impressive fight sequences. But some scenes, like the one outside a club when the girls overreact to Frank leaving the car in slow autodrive to fight off goons or the one where they gatecrash onto a runway to make a rescue are over the top and laughable.It becomes funnier when the film tries to play the emotion card and attempts to make the storytelling deeper than it merits. The father-son relationship in Nebraska stands in sharp contrast to what the audience sees in this outing where Frank Sr keeps throwing punchlines at his kid.

Skrein’s screen presence and chemistry with co-stars leaves a lot to be desired. With bland performances and predictable dialogues, this ride feels like it just doesn’t end. See this one if you enjoy watching cars drifting an unnatural amount and panoramic shots of Europe. Else, come back Statham, you charming spy.

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