Skrein is no Statham.
You may already know this, but Ed Skrein is not Jason Statham. Wait, you don’t know who Ed Skrein is? I did not either until Luc Besson sent the latest Transporter, the first in what is purported to be a new trilogy, around.
The biggest mistake made by this below-average action flick is making him the transporter, Frank Martin, and not simply a transporter. Had Skrein been introduced as another handsome, tough bloke with great driving skills and rigid rules—one of many black-suited gents tooling around the continent with classified cargo—this franchise extension might have been better received. (Note I said might.) Skrein is too pretty and young to be the Martin created by Statham. If you do not want to introduce a whole new character, why not make this movie a prequel rather than a reboot-ish thing?
Ray Stevenson was smart casting as Frank Martin Sr.; the suave fellow really deserves a place in the Bond Universe rather than this continental knockoff. Director Camille Delamarre was a lot more successful with his feature debut, Brick Mansions. The new Transporter is pretty ugly—its production value is on par with “Transporter: The Series” (available on Netflix, if you are curious). A sequence at the Nice/Côte d’Azur airport is the movie’s high point; everything before and after already feels dated and can be skipped without consequence.