September 16, 2015

The Transporter Refueled

Movie Reviews

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.