The Transporter Refueled Review – What will the New Trilogy be like without Jason Statham?

The Transporter is back with the release of the first of three films in the reboot of franchise:  The Transporter Refueled.  The character of Frank Martin has returned- this time, without Jason Statham.  Ed Skrein, who you may know as Daario Naharis from Game of Thrones, has taken over the role.

When asked by Vulture about the return of the franchise, this time without him, Statham stated:

You know what? It was obviously a great experience doing those films, and I would have loved to keep doing it. But they wanted me to sign on and do three more films without even seeing a script, and they offered me less money to do three than I’d get paid for one! So it was a business decision. I would have loved to have done it, but you can’t really sign on without doing a script, and to sign on for three of them? And to get paid a pittance? I just couldn’t see the value in that. 

Jason_Statham

While it is unfortunate for all of us Statham fans, I think we can all respect his decision to end his Transporter career but, how will it affect the rest of the franchise?

After a small intro, the film continues to show an all too familiar fight scene held in a parking garage, reminiscent of Transporter 2.  When you first see the young Frank Martin come out of the shadows and you see that it is not Statham, it is hard not to feel a bit let down even if we KNEW it was going to be Skrein.  However, the “new Frank Martin” isn’t bad to look at either, so you slowly get adjusted to the casting change.

TransporterRefueled

I will not give any spoilers of the rest of the film, but the main premise is, in order to save his father’s life, Martin must help four women with a bank robbery and also confront and kill a human trafficker who had victimized one of the females, Anna, years earlier.

All of the previous Transporter films were cheesy and over the top ridiculous.  This fourth installment easily offers the same thing but is a major let down.  Yes, there are the usual stunts, fights, fast cars and seductive women involved but it was hard to want to pay attention.  Without having Statham’s charm and wit, the script falls short.  There are also unnecessary flashback moments.  When you see the antagonists of the film for the second time, they flash back to the beginning of the movie and show what they looked like “back then”.  The two scenes have about ten minutes between them.  I don’t think we forgot what the obvious “bad guys” looked like from ten minutes ago.  Plus, they didn’t even change drastically enough for us to need it explained.  It was overly dramatic for nothing.  I started to lose interest right after that.

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However, I will say Ed Skrein does a decent job and deserves some credit.  I believe he suits the role well and he did have big shoes to fill.  In that regard, I find he was a good choice for the role.  Even a great actor can’t magically fix a bad script.

I guess Statham was wise in not accepting the role without reading the scripts after all.  😉

Overall, I would not pay to watch this film and while I usually watch movies several times, I will not be watching this one again.  It makes me question whether or not the next two films will even be able to make a comeback and somehow save this new trilogy.  So far, it is not looking good.

Have you seen the film yet? Or are you refusing to watch it without it starring Statham?

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