By Marshall Cearfoss
By the time I watched this movie, it had accumulated a mere $5,000,000 for the two days that it had been released. For some perspective, Fantastic Four, one of the worst flops of this year, made over $25,000,000 on opening weekend. The fact that Transporter made a fifth of the profits of Fantastic Failure suggests this movie was… Pretty bad. With that said, I personally believe it was a much better film than that of the Four.
First I’ll try to convey to you some kind of summary of the storyline… Which really was all over the place. So, Frank Martin (Ed Skrien) is the Transporter, and his job is to, well, transport people. He drives really important people from really important point A’s to also extremely important point B’s. Joining him is his financially struggling father, Frank Martin Sr. (Ray Stevenson), and the mildly mastermind-like sidekick Anna (Loan Chabanol). Tagging along with Anna is a group of equally unrealistically attractive women who practically resulted in almost no change in the plot. I honestly don’t know why they (on this film’s very limited budget) went to the trouble of hiring three more actresses to fill roles that easily could have been eliminated by changing a few sentences in the script. These characters were more expendable than some of the bad guys’ henchmen.
Anyway, I feel like I used way too many words to introduce the cast. Since I was way too wordy with that, I’m gonna go hyper-concise for my plot-line summary and ONLY use hashtags.
Summary: #car #women #shooting #prostitution #wealth #Audi #problems #MasterPlan #DaddyIssues #DaddyCaptured #DaddyHelpMe #LetsHelpDaddy #Where’sTheDriving
That’s pretty much it.
Ok, now for my thoughts.
There was quite a bit that The Transporter: Refueled was lacking. You know, like the transporting. Yes, his job, as I mentioned above, is to drive people from one place to another in his Audi S8 (more on that in a minute). But it’s really important, very rich people. So pretty much, he’s the most expensive, shadiest, most dangerous uber driver out there. But despite his job description, they only spend a few minutes of screen time actually doing the “transport” thing. The rest of the film is just fighting and clunky dialogue.
The fighting was actually pretty good. There were a few fight scenes that impressed me. Most of them were choreographed very well, and they weren’t bogged down with unnecessary cuts and shaky cam.
Ok, now let’s talk about how this movie actually had enough money to be made: PRODUCT PLACEMENT. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie with this much blatant product placement. Transporter takes place in a magical alternate universe where every single living being on earth owns an iPhone 5S. Secondly, Audi was EVERYWHERE in this film. You could take a screenshot of any given moment in this film, and I guarantee that it will look like a banner ad for either Audi or Apple.
In fact, there was so much marketing that I have thought up some alternative names that would be even more fitting than “Refueled.”
Transporter: Audi’s Feature Length Commercial
Transporter: Because Look at Apple’s Stocks
Transporter: It’s Ok, Go Ahead And Illegally Record It If You Have An iPhone
Ok, now for the acting. Which was horrible. Literally no one was convincing enough. I felt like the actors were constantly thinking about what their next Instagram post would be about. The dialogue felt extremely forced and unnatural. Speaking of dialogue- HOW MUCH VOCAL DUBBING CAN THEY PUT INTO A MOVIE. Most films use voice-over dubbing if 1.) the microphone is unable to pick up what the cast was saying or 2.) if the cast occasionally mixes up or slurs words. Well, with how much horrible dubbing starred in this film, I can only assume that the microphone guy never remembered to turn it on, or the cast was plastered during production. While we’re still talking about the atrocious acting, I have to mention this “gang” in the beginning of the film. They were possibly the worst attempt a movie has made at creating a “scary” gang. First, they were about to try breaking into (you guessed it) Frank’s Audi in a thoroughly lit, not sketchy parking garage. Then, when Frank confronted them, they were even less daunting than the alley gang in Bruce Almighty. You know, the guys that Bruce defeated by inflicting a plague of vomit flies and butt monkeys upon them. If Frank’s fancy Audi could have caused this band of jokesters to suffer through a bout of jungle constipation, THAT would convince me to buy this car.
Lastly, I’ll just point out a few more things that prove this movie was very hastily thrown together. 1.) There’s one scene that takes place on a plane. Inside shots look like it’s a modestly-sized private jet, yet outside shots showed a freaking airbus. 2.) Although this entire movie takes place in some European country, the characters seemed to keep disagreeing whether their form of currency was “dollars” or “Euros.” 3.) They hired Ray Stevenson.
To conclude, although this film had horrible acting, dialogue that was created by the top results of someone who Googled the word “cliché,” and the production budget of an Audi S8, it somewhat redeemed itself with half decent fight scenes and some quality humor.
As always, I’d like to thank Times Square Cinema for making this film critique possible.
If you go watch this film, present an iPhone at the ticket booth and just say “This is the only ticket I need.” They won’t let you in, but it will make for a good story.