HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Transporter Refueled
HTS Overall Score:72
“The Transporter” series has some surprising legs on the franchise, but seems to be petering out after Jason Statham left the franchise. Three movies with Statham and Fox decides the character of Frank Martin needs a TV series and finally a reboot/prequel to the original three films. I actually REALLY love the first two movies. They’re bit, they’re stupid, and they’re full of fast cars and lots of explosions. Not to mention Jason Statham running around beating the living tar out of bad guys like they’re made of tissue paper. The third movie was really out of left field and definitely subpar compared the previous movies, but I enjoyed it mildly. Things went boom, and Jason punched people while wearing a suit. I never watched the TV series but heard that it was rather sterile and generic thanks to the loss of Frank Martin. So with the TV failing pretty badly and Statham not returning to his role, what possessed the studios to bankroll ANOTHER film? This time without Statham and with a director whose only real studio film has been the horrible “Brick Mansions”! I can’t say enough bad things about “Transporter Refueled”, as it is a horrible piece of cinema that is as disjointed as it is incompetent. Mixing in shaky cam action scenes with painful acting and a plot that would have made Ewe Boll cry.
Back before Frank Martin was a lone wolf transporter of anything and everything, he was….well… a transporter of anything and everything with a retired father. In the south of France, ex Special Forces agent Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) is doing what he does best, but this time he has his father WITH him instead of a distant memory. Recently retired as a spy, Frank Senior (Ray Stevenson), the inspiration for Frank’s famous punctuality complex, is kidnapped by a set of Femme Fatale prostitutes who have a score to settle with their Russian pimp, Arkady Karasov (Radivoje Bukjiv). With Frank Senior held captive and pumped full of a mysterious poison with only the hope of a cure fueling Frank’s cooperation, the transporter steps out of his wheelhouse and decides to help the women.
Job after job and mission after mission get them closer to their goal of wiping out Arkady Karasov, but Arkady and Frank Martin have a bit of a history between them. Former friends and squad mates, the two know more about each other than the girls ever expected. Which means that Frank is not only fighting for the life of his father, but an enemy that knows his weaknesses and strengths as well as he knows them himself.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=61489[/img]“Transporter Refueled” is probably one of the most painful blockbuster films that I’ve had to sit through in quite some time. I honestly have no idea why someone even greenlit this movie and let it hit theaters. The production budget is decently high, which gives the film a slick and glossy look, but other than that, the acting and writing are about on par with your average DTV film. In fact if I didn’t know any better I would have thought this film skipped the theater entirely. The original Statham “Transporter Films” weren’t high art by any stretch of the imagination, but they were fun and stupid action movies that were carried by the physicality and charisma of their star. Ed Skrein is woefully lacking in both, as he can’t act his way out of a paper bag and his fight scenes are heavily edited and look like an amateur directed them.
Ray Stevensen is usually a breath of fresh air in lower budget films, but his best efforts are in vain as he’s relegated to a father who just runs around chasing the skirts of those who kidnap him and make jokes. None of which are funny, and his four captors have the charisma and charm of amateur hookers. I was staring stupidly at the screen the entire time wondering just what was actually happening, as it couldn’t be really THAT bad, could it? Sadly enough, the film is really that bad and none of my obvious nostalgia for the franchise could save this pile of drek from disappearing into the annals of film history as nothing but a weak attempt to try and save the floundering franchise.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, sexual material, some language, a drug reference and thematic elements
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=61497[/img]While the movie itself wasn’t exactly a knockout success, the 2.39:1 AVC encoded transfer certainly is magnificent. The digitally shot film looks sleek and glossy, with a razor sharp finish that gives us a lot of fine detail to enjoy. The stubble on Ray Stevenson’s face, or the scars and facial imperfections of Ed Skrein all show up remarkably well, and the long shots don’t really look smooth or overly soft at all, especially considering how much CGI went into the film. Blacks are deep and inky and support the fine detail with excellent shadow work and no sign of any major artifacting (mild crush here and there). Colors are bright and well saturated, although I did notice the contrast get boosted just a tad here and there, especially noticeable in the really bright, outdoor shots.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=61505[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track is nothing to sneeze at either, as the bombastic track blasts onto the scene without any introduction needed. Guns, explosions, roaring automobiles, they all take the center stage at one point or another in the film and aggressive nature of each lends itself well to the action oriented situation. Each punch, each rev of the engine and each explosion all are replicated marvelously and without any flaws whatsoever. LFE is tight and deep, adding a nice layer of depth and weight to the experience. Although, I have to say. I was actually surprised that there was not MORE power and depth to the LFE channel as I felt there could have been some more oomph to the impacts and gunshots. Still, dialog is crisp and clear, and balanced with the aggressive sound of the movie, and the surround channels are awash with activity at all times. An excellent surround sound experience for sure.
• Frank Martin: The Reluctant Hero
• The Coeur Brise: Les Femmes of "Refueled"
• Rocketing from 0-60
This year has had a surprising amount of failed reboots on past success (and in some case failures). Josh Trank’s abysmal failure with “Fantastic 4”, “Hitman: Agent 47” and now “The Transporter Refueled”. Fox has to be reeling after this trifecta of absolute failure in the box office and the fans are NOT giving them much mercy as they attempt to salvage their action franchises. I really really wanted to like the film, as I’m a big fan of dumb, big and stupid action movies. However, there comes a point where there is so much stupidity and incompetence that even my capability to suspend disbelief is stretched to its absolute max. The technical specs for the Blu-ray are stellar, for sure, but there’s very limited extras, and even if the movie came with a thousand dollar check attached to the inside and more extras than we would possibly chew through, I would still recommend that only the masochistic personality actually watch the movie.
Starring: Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Loan Chabanol
Directed by: Camille Delamarre
Written by: Adam Cooper, Bill Collage
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 96 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 8th 2015
Buy The Transporter Refueled On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
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