The Transporter Refueled Blu-ray Review
It’s been a number of years since Frank Martin has taken a dangerous job. According to him, now he “sits in traffic for a living.” He still serves as a getaway driver, but the excitement has settled into quiet dinners with his father.
This is just a setup for what is to come. One night, he gets a call from Anna (Loan Chabanol, who had a small role in 2014’s THIRD PERSON), a high-end prostitute who offers Frank (Ed Skrein, who appeared briefly on HBO’s GAME OF THRONES) a job. She has heard good things about him and is good for the fees he charges. But the proposition turns out to be more than just the average pickup. The plan is revealed as something different when it’s made clear that Anna and her team (of, yes, prostitutes) have robbed a bank. Frank wants to call off the deal, but is roped back in when it turns out the girls had a hand in kidnapping his father (Ray Stevenson, who has recently turned up in the THOR and DIVERGENT movies), all in the name of revenge on their pimp.
And so cues a chase scene in which cop cars flip over other cop cars, high-tech vehicles weave through traffic and motorcycles skid through waves of water (set off by well-timed tailspins into fire hydrants). This is just the sort of sequence that fans of the series will want. And yet, there’s something missing…
THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED is the fourth in the franchise, following entries in 2002, 2005 and 2008. More notably, it is the first without Jason Statham, who made a name for himself as a genre go-to by playing the lead character. This is a risk for the series that the filmmakers were clearly aware of—even the title is trying to beg a potential audience to believe that this addition will be a worthwhile actioner despite the absence of its usual star. But this sequel isn’t so much refueled as it is puttering in the shoulder.
Of course, to keep with the style of the movie, the action does come in at a steady enough pace. The first time we see Frank, he’s tasked to beat up four (or is it five? it’s hard to tell with so many cuts) baddies trying to steal his wheels. From there, Frank throws plenty of punches and the Audi gets enough screen time to qualify the movie as a partial advertisement.
While it’s true that the first three were far from being inventive, at least Statham had enough presence to make the target audience return. Skrein instead tries to get by solely on throaty whispers, determined head tilts and flat one-liners, all of which contribute to a cartoonish performance that won’t do much to make him an action star. As it turned out, Statham would have more charisma at the Golden Globes putting Paul Feig in a headlock than Skrein does in the entire movie.
Video: 2.39:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. TRANSPORTER REFUELED looks quite sharp (and, yes, so does the Audi) and the transfer additionally offers strong textures and accurate colors.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Subtitles in English and Spanish. The audio transfer hits its peak during the action sequences, which at times can roar through the speakers.
Frank Martin: The Reluctant Hero (9:18): This featurette includes on-set footage and interviews (with director Camille Delamarre, star Ed Skrein and more) to provide an overview of the movie and character.
The Coeur Brise: Les Femmes of REFUELED (5:32): The lead female characters of the movie are given the spotlight.
Rocketing from 0-60 (5:40) looks at some of the action sequences with the Audi.