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The Transporter Refuelled

The Transporter Refuelled

Released 4 September 2015
Director Camille Delamarre

Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Loan Chabanol, Tatiana Pajkovic, Gabriella Wright, Yuri Kolokonikov, Wenxia Yu, Noemie Lenoir, Radivoje Bukvic, Anatole Tubman

Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Luc Besson
Producer(s) Luc Besson, Mark Gao
Origin France, China
Running Time 96 minutes
Genre Action, crime, thriller
Rating 15A

Moving in reverse.

This reboot of the Transporter series sees Ed Skrein taking on the role of Frank Martin, a former special ops soldier now working as a set of wheels for hire, using his driving skills to transport dubious packages for dubious people. His latest employer is Anna (Loan Chabanol), who proposes a simple deal with Frank. Quickly though, Anna proves to be less than honest, kidnapping Frank's father (Ray Stevenson) so that Frank will assist her and three of her colleagues to plot revenge against the man who forced them into prostitution.

While watching the film (a difficult feat in itself), a quote of Mel Brooks' came to mind; “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.” Mining the big problems of the world for content is a staple of entertainment and rightly so – both comedy and cinema have dealt with the worst aspects of human nature in ways that can be cathartic and satisfying. Human trafficking and sexual slavery are not subjects which should be taboo in popular culture but to use them as the jumping off point for an action movie, one would hope the filmmakers would have at least some kind of intelligent viewpoint or cultural awareness.

Sadly, The Transporter Refuelled wants to have its political cake and eat it; using a quartet of avenging prostitutes as its heroines but at the same time leering at them and every other woman on screen. Frank and his father are even happy to accept sexual favours from these abused women as thanks for their help. Yuck. Thus, the film manages the trick of being deathly boring and horribly offensive at the same time. And it really is boring, despite the constant squeals of burning rubber. Skrein himself may look the part with his shaved head and chiselled body but his fighting style always looks a bit floaty, as if none of his punches are connecting. The husky whisper in which he delivers his ludicrous one-liners makes an attempt at Statham gruffness but instead makes him sound as if he has a slight cold.

In short, The Transporter Refuelled is a load of patronising, meat-headed rubbish.

- Linda O'Brien