Seven years after its last cinematic outing, The Transporter series returns to screens. Initially a vehicle to show off the physical talents of star Jason Statham, it morphed into an enjoyably silly action trilogy.
The Transporter Refuelled reboots the franchise with new action and new stars. Ed Skrein replaces Statham but still shows the same gift for battling wicked villains amidst glamorous surrounds.
After a lifetime of transporting shady packages for dodgy customers, former mercenary Frank (Skrein) enjoys retirement. Spending time with his father, Frank Snr (Ray Stevenson), Frank revels in the quiet time. Unfortunately his idyll is interrupted by the mysterious Anna (Loan Chabanol). Anna is a lady of sinister disposition who employs Frank to join her in a daring bank heist. Quickly discovering that the plan is more than it seems, Frank battles an armada of baddies and seeks vengeance as only he can.
The Transporter Refuelled is one of those movies you can’t take seriously. A ridiculously outrageous romp, it delivers on its promise. Slightly steering the franchise towards a more realistic sheen, director Camille Delamarre does an admirable job. Aided by Skrein’s energetic performance, Frank is a street-wise hero determined to use his wits to untangle himself out of bad situations. Bringing a dangerous edge to the fight scenes, you can feel Frank’s determination to overcome obstacles and the zeal he has in defeating his enemies.
The series isn’t known for its in-depth characterisation and The Transporter Refuelled follows suit. It isn’t a total hollow vessel with enough character moments to maintain interest in between explosions. The action is what everyone wants and there is plenty: from car, boat and plane chases, the vehicle destruction runs high. All are expertly photographed with the vistas of the French Riviera used to maximum effect. The locales add a glossy, James Bond-feel with the pacing never running out of steam.
Whilst not the most mind-blowing action movie made, The Transporter Refuelled fulfils its purpose. Re-starting the series with ease and full of elements making for diverting viewing, it’s an agreeable entry in a furiously thunderous series.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 6
The Transporter Refuelled is in cinemas from 3 September 2015.