The Transporter Refueled

Posted on September 3, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence & action, sexual material, some language, a drug reference & thematic elements
Profanity: Brief mild language (b-word, s-word)
Alcohol/ Drugs: Alcohol
Violence/ Scariness: Extended action-style violence and peril, many characters injured and killed, some disturbing images
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Date Released to Theaters: September 4, 2015
Copyright Relativity Europacorp 2015
Copyright Relativity Europacorp 2015

It must be said. The refueled “Transporter” is very low octane. The original had some of the best chase scenes ever filmed and a star-making performance from Jason Statham. This reboot casts newcomer Ed Skrein who is the lower-priced spread to Statham’s artisanal butter. Skrein has bright blue eyes, cheekbones to die for, cute crooked teeth, and he looks great in a suit, especially when he is taking on a group of thugs all by himself. But neither he nor the storyline are enough to make any of the chases, explosions, or shoot-outs mean enough to hold our attention.

Same character: Frank. Same job: transporting. Same mad skills as a driver and in MMA-style fights. Same commitment to “plausible deniability,” so all clients must play by the rules. No names. No information about what’s in the packages or why they need a ride. No changing the deal after it’s been agreed on.

Frank agrees to transport a woman and two packages. But she changes the deal. She comes out of a bank with two other women, all identically dressed with blond Sia wigs on. Frank refuses to take them until they show him that they have kidnapped his father, played by Ray Stevenson, by far the best thing in the movie, as an unflappably urbane former spy who seems to enjoy everything that happens, from being kidnapped to MacGyver-ing an impromptu spot of bullet removal surgery with sugar and cobwebs. The next day, she’s up and around as though nothing had happened. Don’t try this at home, children. Really.

It would be more fun to watch a highlight reel of chases and stunts from the three previous films than this dull and surprisingly sour film, too lightweight to be referred to as a story and too ugly to be entertaining. A film like this has to have a bad guy who is despicable enough that we want him vanquished but not so nasty that it makes us start thinking too hard about questions like logic and why the police just abandon the chase whenever it is convenient. There are a couple of extra bad guys in this we barely learn enough to make us to pay attention to. If Luc Besson insists on making another one of these, let’s hope it’s “The Transporter’s Father” instead.

Parents should know that this film has constant chases and fight scenes, many characters injured and killed, some disturbing images including graphic wounds, brief strong language, sexual references and situations including prostitution, drinking, and smoking.

Family discussion: Why are Frank’s rules so important? How are Frank and his father different?

If you like this, try: the first “Transporter” movie

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Action/Adventure Movies -- format Series/Sequel
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