'Transporter Refueled' recycles a favorite, fails

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“Transporter Refueled” released on Friday, earning $7.1 million in the box office.

Rebooting a franchise is no easy feat. Filmmakers want to be able to bring new life into the franchise but simultaneously stay true to the roots of what made the original franchise so great.

“The Transporter” series has always held a special place in the hearts of action movie fans everywhere.

The movies are known for the great lead, Jason Statham, as well as great fight choreography and high-speed chase sequences. They were action packed movies that people thoroughly enjoyed watching. Unfortunately, “The Transporter Refueled” lacks the qualities necessary to live up to its predecessors, and at times, becomes unbearable to watch.

The movie revolves around Frank Martin (Ed Skieren), a former special ops agent who is now a hired mercenary. While eating dinner with his father (Ray Stevenson), he gets a call from a mysterious woman named Anna (Loan Chabanol) and is offered an elusive job. Hesitant, he accepts the job and then, plot twist, everything goes wrong.

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Anna, along with her three partners in crime, take Frank’s father hostage and forces him to work for them. The movie’s plot is very dull, and worse, doesn’t do a good job of pulling a viewer in. There were countless times during the movie where this a STAR reporter rolled his eyes, silently asked himself “are you serious?” and laughed at the fact of how bad the movie was. There are times where scenes are attempted to be recreated from the original trilogy, but end up failing horribly. The producers, director and actors fail to capture the spirit of the original films.However, the reuse of the iconic line “Seatbelts, please,” was a nice nod to the previous films.

It’s hard to imagine a Transporter movie without Jason Statham. He is the biggest reason the movies are so memorable to action movie fans. He was an instantly likable and charming lead and unfortunately,  newcomer Ed Skeirn fails to achieve the heights that Statham set before him.

Skeirn never appeals to the audience, and often times, comes off as trying too hard to be cool.
Furthermore, Skeirn strives to be exactly like Statham’s portrayal of Frank Martin. This is an entirely new start to the franchise and because of that, there is no reason why he couldn’t try a new portrayal of the character.

The movie is about Frank Martin, so shouldn’t he be the character the audience likes the most? Of all the characters in this movie, he was the least likeable. Even the supporting characters were more likeable than the protagonist. It’s like the director decided to give all the charm to his father, and give Anna and her cohorts the emotional pull of the movie.

Since the Transporter movies have always been about action, that is where they shine the most. Ironically, “Transporter Refueled” fails in that important aspect. There was no sense of awe whenever an action scene came up, as they lacked spectacle. The opening car chase scene left a lot to be desired, and used way too many slow motion shots. It didn’t have the same sense of adrenaline as its predecessors did. When it came to the fight scenes, they seemed stiff and unexciting. They were not well choreographed, and sometimes, it felt as though Skeirn needed more time in rehearsal.

If there were an option to refund people’s money after seeing this movie, they would take it. This movie is not enjoyable at all.  It doesn’t seem to remember what made the originals so fun to watch. In short, they fail to capture the spirit of the original, and worse, don’t stay true to the series.