Monday, September 7, 2015

The Transporter Refueled Review

Did the world really need or want a reboot to the Transporter franchise without including Jason Statham? Heck, did the world even need or want one with Jason Statham? I guess I'm not really qualified to answer that question since I've never really seen any of the previous three Transporter movies. I could've done one of those movie marathons that I've done this year and watch all the Transporter movies before I went to see this one, but I have to be honest. I wasn't extremely interested in catching up on those movies. Is that a bad thing? If you are a fan of the Transporter franchise, please explain to me why I need to see these movies. I just look at the reviews for each movie and the box office totals (or lack thereof) and conclude that this isn't an action franchise that I really need to catch up on. They don't make much money. Not many people actually enjoy them. Yet somehow they are on their fourth movie? How is it that we get a fourth Transporter movie, yet there's so many movies out there that deserve to be a franchise that don't even have a sequel yet? Like I said, technically I don't have the right to complain or judge this franchise because I haven't seen them yet. Normally I don't jump into a franchise at the fourth movie, but since this one was a reboot, I figured I'd be safe. Whether or not you are a fan of the franchise, I do feel I am safe to say that this movie is one you can probably just skip.

I will say right off the bat that this isn't laughably bad or painful to watch. You can sit through this and be mildly entertained. This was the type of movie where I went into the theater and did my best to turn off my brain and enjoy. But I just couldn't help myself. I had to turn on my brain for this movie because I was trying to figure out what in the heck was happening. It wasn't a situation where I felt I was jumping into the middle of a complex story like would be the case if I jumped into other fourth movies in a franchise. This is definitely a reboot and a standalone story. It was just a confusing one that got unnecessarily complex partway through. Things were happening and I didn't really know why they were happening and I think I was supposed to care about the characters, but I didn't, which didn't help matters. As far as this story goes, something happens in the intro. I didn't really catch exactly what happened or what the point of that was. But then we jump 15 years into the future for some reason and all the characters that I think we saw during that intro were supposed to be 15 years older, but they just had different haircuts and thus all looked the same age. Then we go to a dude that was previously Jason Statham from what I gathered and he's having Daddy issues when a random girl calls him for his help in getting from one place to another. Turns out there's three girls and they're robbing a bank and our main dude helps them escape and then he's planning on abandoning them when he finds out that a fourth girl in their little girl gang has kidnapped his dad and apparently poisoned him, forcing our main dude to take part in some sort of confusing plot to save his dad?

Get my vibe? Whoever wrote this movie did a really bad job with the script, the story, the characters. All of the above. None of it is interesting. As far as our characters go, the actors playing them didn't do a bad job. Ed Skrein was our Jason Statham replacement. He was fine as an action star. But I didn't really care for his character. I don't really know why they thought that getting rid of Jason Statham was a good idea. At the very least, Statham does a good job of pulling off a really believable action star and a very likable character. But maybe the problem was that Jason Statham didn't want to do this. If that was the case, perhaps that should've been a sign for them to NOT go forward with a franchise reboot. The other actors are also fine. We have Ray Stevenson as the dad. Loan Chabanol was our main female. They didn't do a bad job. I just didn't really care for them. Then I look at the choice of director and I see that it is a guy named Camille Delamarre. Having never heard of him, I look up his filmography and I see that the only thing he's directed was that Paul Walker version of Brick Mansions? Outside of that, the dude was an editor for other Luc Besson produced action films like Transporter 3, Colombiana, and Taken 2. That's right. They picked a guy to direct who is mainly an editor and whose only directing experience was a pretty bad action movie that no one cared about. Did they even care about making a good movie or was this just a quick cash grab? The movie only made $9 million in its opening weekend, but the budget was only $22 million, so with a little bit of foreign help and a somewhat decent hold, this movie could actually turn out a profit for them.

If you ever sign up for any film class in whatever level of education, one thing they'll always tell you is to look for the good in a movie. Any given movie is someone's passion project. People spent a really long time putting something together that they really hoped audiences would enjoy. So is there some redeeming qualities in The Transporter Refueled that could be praised? Yes, there are. Being as the director is actually an editor, for some reason that made me pay closer attention to the editing in the movie. All the shots were very well edited. I don't know if that had anything to do with the director or if it was just a coincidence, but that was a plus. Along those lines, the movie is a well shot movie and visually is pretty. So yeah, all the cinematography in the movie was great. And if I'm being completely honest, all the action in the movie wasn't bad either. There are several sequences in the movie that are fun to watch. I didn't really know what was going on or why it was going on. I still thing all the writing in the movie was putrid and the actors, while not bad, didn't do enough to make me care for them, which could partially be blamed on poorly written characters. But the action sequences were done well. It made me think that if the people attached to this project actually put more effort into the story, the characters, the script, etc, this could've been a decent movie. But decent action alone doesn't save a movie when everything else about the movie is crap.

All in all, this is definitely a movie that fits the release date. There's a lot of movies that come out in late August or early September that really just aren't worth your time. This year there's been several action movies that have come out in this time period that have tried to be the next cool action movie, but in every single case except for American Ultra, I have made the recommendation that you should check out Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation instead of seeing this movie and I'm glad that this advice has been followed because after over a month of being in theaters, that movie is still in the top 5 at the box office. Once again, that's the same story with The Transporter Refueled. Don't bother with this. Yes, it's better than Hitman: Agent 47, but that's not a high bar as even The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a far superior movie, which is rather embarrassing. Sure, some of the action sequences are fun to watch. No, this is not a painfully bad movie. But it's just not worth your time. It's a very forgettable movie. After a really busy weekend, I finally got around to seeing this on Saturday night and even though it's been less than 48 hours, I still struggled to remember what I did and didn't like about the movie. It's that forgettable. So please. Do yourself a favor and watch something else. My grade for The Transporter Refueled is a 5/10.

1 comment:

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