‘The Transporter Refueled’ Teaser: New Star, Old Rules
“Is this the Transporter?”
Those are the first words of this teaser for The Transporter Refueled, the reboot of the Euro-action series about the world’s best-dressed, most deadly delivery man. And I want to answer that question with a resounding no; this is decidedly not the Transporter. The Transporter is Jason Statham, or at least it was Jason Statham through the franchise’s first three movies. Statham, alas, has departed, leaving Ed Skrein to assume unflappable courier Frank Martin’s black suit-and-tie-and-Audi.
Skrein looks okay in the role, even though it feels pretty heretical to replace Jason Statham in a Jason Statham movie. Would you cast someone else as Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp? No, you would not.
(You’re right, that was an unfair comparison. Jason Statham is way cooler than Charlie Chaplin.)
Seriously, though, Skrein’s performance is ultimately less important here than the direction and the action. If they’re good, that’s enough. If they stink, this franchise will run out of gas very quickly. The director is Camille Delamarre, a longtime editor for Transporter grand poobah Luc Besson, who moved from the Avid suite to the director’s chair for last year’s Brick Mansions. The editing is generally one of my least favorite parts about Besson’s action movies (because they’re usually really choppy and hard to follow), but maybe Delamarre’s knowledge of what an editor needs to put together a solid fight sequence will help give Transporter Refueled a little bit more coherence. Either way, the film hits theaters on June 19.