The Transporter Refuled

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The original Transporter was no master of script, but it is still an entertaining piece of action/adventure. The reason for that was both the ministrations of Luc Besson (Lucy), and even more so the original’s lead,  Jason Statham (Transporter). His unassuming charm and physicality sold the role.

This reboot of the series did pick a charismatic lead in Ed Skrein (Deadpool). He has the presence and the easy sense of navigating danger that helps make the character fun and intriguing. However, the primary writers Cooper and Collage (Exodus) removed most of the humor from him and gave that part of the job to Ray Stevenson (Insurgent) playing the role of his father. They make a good pair and the backstory it provides makes the idea of the Transporter and his job a little more likely. Unfortunately it also alters the balance and takes away something from our lead, making him more a tool than a character.

Director Delamarre’s previous remake, Brick Mansions, was equally a bit off in its approach. Besson films thrive on the combination of action, humor, and heart in the right combination. Alter that recipe and the meal falls apart. To be fair, this version of the Transporter isn’t an unwatchable mess, but its plot beggars belief at points and it misses at least one very important moment near the end. I also need to point out that the first few minutes of the film I found incredibly ill thought out and distasteful. I don’t know how purposeful the choice was, but it could easily be read with additional subtext. It will either be obvious to you or not make you blink, so no need to go into detail.

The upshot is that the resulting reboot isn’t quite on par with the fun of the original. I doubt it will get another bite at the apple either. There are some great stunts and great fights, but with the Fast & Furious franchise (and even the return of XxX) it just isn’t good enough to invest in.

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