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|The Transporter Refuelled|
dir Camille Delamarre
prd Luc Besson, Mark Gao
scr Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Luc Besson
with Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Loan Chabanol, Gabriella Wright, Tatiana Pajkovic, Wenxia Yu, Radivoje Bukvic, Noemie Lenoir, Yuri Kolokolnikov, Lenn Kudrjawizki, Samir Guesmi, Anatole Taubman
release US/UK 4.Sep.15
15/France Europa 1h36
No questions: Skrein and the girls
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
Luc Besson revives his action franchise with new leading man Ed Skrein, who brings a wry, stoic vibe to the former British black-ops expert who lives by a code of plausible deniability in his work as a driver for hire. This makes the nonsensical dialog and action feel rather oddly out of balance. But it's so relentlessly ridiculous that it's still a lot of fun.
On the French Riviera, hooker Anna (Chabanol) wants revenge against the Russian gangsters (Bukvic, Kolokolnikov and Kudrjawizki) who have made her life miserable since puberty. So she gathers her friends (Wright, Pajkovic and Yu) and hires Frank (Skrein) as a driver, kidnapping his father (Stevenson) as collateral. Over a series of heists, the cool-headed Frank continually has to dive in to help, and things escalate as his dad also gets in on the action. This will involve chases with cars, planes, motorbikes and boats, armies of gun-toting goons and the police on everyone's trail.
The film is little more than a series of insane action scenes that aren't particularly well-filmed. But they're raucously inventive. Frank's shiny Audi emerges from the chaos unscathed while hundreds of police cars smash in spectacular slow-motion. The chases and fights all begin strongly and quickly descend into hilariously silly fantasy, usually accompanied by boneheaded dialog that feels like it was written in French and then dubbed into English by a Russian using Google Translate.
Credit to the cast for putting plenty of emotion into each cliched scene. The women and the mobsters have to do this in corny Russian accents. Stevenson doesn't bother disguising his Aussie vowels, clearly enjoying every undignified minute. And the too-pretty Skrein does lots of glowering. We can tell who's good because they speak their lines in a purr, while the baddies bark. No one is particularly subtle, and no one winks at the camera.
Which is a problem when a movie is this preposterous. Still, the set pieces have a terrific kick, such as the one where Frank puts his car in drive and gets out to fight the thugs as it creeps after him. It's nice to see a mob action movie in which the story is driven by women on a just mission, although it might be more convincing if they weren't wearing skimpy dresses and high heels. So while the movie is never dull and often very funny (sometimes intentionally so), it's still pretty terrible.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2015 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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