Transporter Refueled Parent Review
This movie comes across as a clumsy attempt to breath new life into a once-profitable franchise.
This aging franchised has been “refueled” with the hopes that it will continue to sputter along, living off of Audi and American Express sponsorship deals. Now that Jason Statham, the former star of this car-chase-a-minute romp, has moved on to bigger interests like Furious 7, The Expendables, and Gnomeo & Juliet (umm… maybe we should nix that last one…), we have Ed Skrein behind the wheel playing the invincible mercenary Frank Martin. Martin makes a nice living transporting people and packages—with no questions asked. One thing is for certain, whoever and whatever enters his car always has cops and robbers following close behind. And this film continues in that vein…
When Frank’s phone rings in this movie, it interrupts a nice dinner he had planned with his father, Frank senior (Ray Stevenson). After meeting his mysterious female client, he takes the contract. But, as is usually the case, she is accompanied by some unusual “cargo”. In this case it is two other identically dressed and wigged women. Working as their getaway driver, Frank is unwittingly implicated in a bank robbery… and that’s just the beginning.
As it turns out these women, who were kidnapped as children, have been working as prostitutes ever since. They have endured for the last fifteen waiting for just the right moment to take their revenge on the group of men who have ruled their lives on the street. Now they have turned the tables, and to insure Frank keeps working for them, they have kidnapped the driver’s father to ensure he won’t take a wrong turn.
If Apple’s Siri could be personified and play in a movie, this would likely be her. The women here are deliberately dressed to look like genetic replicants from a sci-fi experiment gone wrong. The problem is they act like androids as well. Come to think of it, Siri could even have authored the script, which is a mathematically calculated pattern of fistfights, word fights, gunfights, sensual interludes and, of course, car chases.
Frank Jr’s Audi S8 is the star of this show (and arguably the best performer). Whether tearing through the streets of Monaco or sliding along the serpentine roadway hugging France’s southern coast, the vehicle lives up to its product placement fees. When the French police make a feeble attempt to bring Frank to justice, they instead see their disposable cruisers left in a heap of busted bumpers and flashing blue lights. Yet the greatest moment for the Audi is when it catches up to a jet plane with its engines gunning and then makes its getaway through the inside of the crowded airport terminal. Armed guards look stunned and simply stare at the S8 making its way through the plate glass and on to the street outside.
Frenetic editing, screaming women, and car chases aside, there is a good likelihood teens will want to check this movie out. The aforementioned violence is pervasive with beatings involving pipes, air tanks and cable whips. And there are guns… lots of guns. On screen shootings are frequent with some blood effects. When one of the women is hit, we see a somewhat detailed scene of Frank and Frank Sr. attempting to remove the bullet during a crude “medical” procedure.
Perhaps the most ironic thing about this film is its attempt to teach viewers about the horrors of forced child prostitution and the sex trade. Sadly, the portrayals in this film continue the exploitation they are intending to condemn. The women are depicted here as eye-candy, dancing around in their underwear to keep their madmen happy. After being rescued by the “good guys” they still resort to sexual favors as the only way they know to show their appreciation. And, even more frustrating, the Franks happily accept their offers. (No overt nudity is seen, but sexual relations are strongly implied.)
Having Frank Sr. acting as the comic relief, this movie truly comes across as a clumsy attempt to breath new life into a once-profitable franchise. If another Transporter does make it to the big screen, someone had best plan on springing for premium fuel.Directed by Camille Delamarre. Starring Ed Skrein, Loan Chabanol, Lenn Kudrjawizki. Running time: 96 minutes. Theatrical release September 4, 2015. Updated May 12, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Transporter Refueled here.
Transporter Refueled Parents Guide
This script involves the real world issue of young girls being sold into the sex trade. Do you think movies like this help to promote recognition of this serious real life problem? Or do they trivialize them? What real world consequences are removed, or not depicted in this film?
NOTE: Transporter Refueled was perviously titled The Transporter Legacy.
From the Studio: The producers of “Lucy” and the “Taken” trilogy bring you the next adrenaline-fueled installment of The Transporter series, “The Transporter Legacy,” starring newcomer Ed Skrein as Frank Martin, the most highly-skilled transporter money can buy. The stakes are greater and technology better, but the same three simple rules apply: never change the deal, no names and never open the package. When Frank is hired by cunning femme fatale Anna and her three stunning sidekicks, he quickly discovers he’s been played. Anna and her cohorts have kidnapped his father (Ray Stevenson) in order to coerce Frank into helping them take down a ruthless group of Russian human traffickers. Fueled by revenge, he will break all his rules and stop at nothing to rescue his father in this action-packed thrill ride across the French Riviera.—Relativity EuropaCorp