“I was ready to start this blog with a couple of anecdotes about my history with the franchise, when I realized that I shared them when I blogged the original. The main takeaway is that I really do love this franchise and this character. However, Jason Statham is a huge part of that for me, so already the new fuel (or actor) was starting at a disadvantage.
So we’ve got a newbie, Ed Skrein, stepping in as the dashing driver, Frank. Much of the basis of the character was still there. The flawless suits, the tricked out vehicles, the rules, the attitude. Except to me, he still wasn’t quite Frank. It was a kid trying to do his best Jason Statham impersonation, nailing the cadence but otherwise a cheap imitation.
Let’s be real for a second here. The other movies, don’t have too much going for them in the way of plot. But what they lack in substance, they more than make up for in style. Statham has the opportunity to show of his moves, there’s some of the best vehicular chase sequences this side of the Fast franchise, and you’ve got the witty banter with his cop friend. This time, replace the friend with his father (a choice I support, as they had good energy between them), have one so so fight early on to reestablish that Frank can fight (replace the tshirt with a shopping bag to tie up the baddie), and don’t even try to get too creative with the chases because we’re not gonna be better than Fast.
Overall, it just felt like a cheap knock off. Something that goes straight to DVD that I pick up for five bucks on Black Friday, along with one starring Liam Neeson and/or John Cena. I’d be curious to have seen what Statham would have done if the studio agreed to his salary demands. Well if Matt Damon can return to Bourne, maybe there’s hope for a triumphant return behind the wheel of a custom Audi. Until then, I’m just gonna stick with the first movie.
The Transporter: Refueled – \m/ \m/”