FILM REVIEW
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Now showing in Hong Kong

Film review: The Transporter Refueled – Euro-trash action series gets an inane overhaul

Stylish fights and outrageous action sequences not enough to rescue this attempt

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 October, 2015, 4:01am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 October, 2015, 4:01am

Fourth time out, the Luc Besson-produced action franchise gets an overhaul. Out goes Jason Statham, and in comes younger model Ed Skrein. The Game of Thrones star takes over the role of Frank Martin, the highly skilled, ask-no-questions driver who dresses smarter than he looks.

Set in sunny Monaco, the plot is pure Euro-trash, as Frank is sucked into an elaborate scheme to bring down a local Russian pimp (Radivoje Bukvic). The perpetrators are four of his former charges – a quartet of impossibly glamorous, long-legged ladies led by Loan Chabanol’s Anna.  With the girls holding captive his father, Frank Snr (Ray Stevenson), the driver has little choice but to play along, as these vengeful women carry out a series of neon-lit heists to hit their master where it hurts.

Little is sacred, from the sensitive subject of human trafficking (these females were once child sex slaves) to classic literary texts (they carry a copy of The Three Musketeers for inspiration, doubtless leaving Alexandre Dumas spinning in his grave).

Still, you have to admire incoming director, Camille Delamarre (Brick Mansions), who has a good sense of what’s required for such Neanderthal nonsense. The more outrageous the better, in other words. One sequence at an airport sees Martin drive his car in front of a moving plane, leaping onto the covered walkway that connects it to the airport.

The fights, meanwhile, whether amid rows of filing cabinets or on clifftops, have real style. What a shame Delamarre’s sense of occasion couldn’t be used for something less inane.

The Transporter Refueled opens on October 1