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'The Transporter: Refueled': No Statham, No Point

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Film | September 4, 2015 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Film | September 4, 2015 |

The Transporter: Refueled is a completely unnecessary sequel that is one of the stupidest and most incompetently made films of the year. The insult is compounded by the simple fact that no one on the planet gave a shit about having a third sequel to a mildly entertaining 13 year old Statham vehicle.

Doubt the assertion that no one gave a shit?

Have you seen a single trailer for this film anywhere. I write about entertainment on this site five days per week and had not the slightest clue this film existed until TK asked me to see it a couple days ago because he had personal business that precluded his reviewing of the movie. And by “personal business” I assume he meant that he was sitting at home laughing at me. Because he is cruel, and his only joy is in making me go see terrible fucking car movies.

More evidence? There were only two trailers in front of the movie (Everest and Star Wars, both of which have been out for weeks, if not months) because no studio was even willing to pay pennies on the dollar to get their trailers in front of this film’s audience.

More evidence? I was the only one in the 250 seat theater. This is the third consecutive week in which I’ve reviewed a movie and been the only person in the audience. That’s got to be some sort of apocalyptic bad movie hat trick.

And it was an IMAX theater, because this movie is only being released on IMAX in this entire damned county. This is officially the most pathetic movie to ever be granted an IMAX exclusive release. And it’s only 90 minutes long including the credits. Actual run time was more like 80. I paid 19 cents per minute to watch this. You can call internationally from Moscow to America for cheaper than this fucking movie.

I suppose I should say something about the movie, but it’s difficult, because it was so monumentally stupid that even thinking about it makes me forget how to use vowels while typing. This movie is dumb. It does not deserve greater eloquence than that. The action scenes are poorly shot, zoomed in too close, and filmed with the idiotic quick cuts that in a just world would be sufficient to ban a director from ever sitting behind a camera again. There is no plot to speak of, no dialogue worth mentioning, and not even unintentional humor.

More? Sigh.

So, young British dude is New!Statham. He’s terrible at Stathaming. He the eponymous transporter. You know, you pay him a ton of money and then he drives vroom fast and you don’t ask any questions, and boom he’s always on time. He is very successful at this and has expensive cars and suits, and despite never asking any questions about the cargo, is totally a nice guy at heart. This is because he lives in a fictional world where there is a market for people who need to get driven vroom fast away from the cops without having done anything really wrong. His dad is played by Pullo, because he angered Zeus and so it’s Vorenus who gets to be in his eighth season of Grey’s Anatomy.

Also despite being former special forces, Not!Statham doesn’t like to use guns because whichever cliched list of sensitive good guy stereotypes the deeply incompetent screenwriter was burning through had that next on the list. Good thing this fictional world contains no bad guys with guns until the very last scene. Like, seriously, he beats up like 50 linebacker sized dudes who are supposed to be vicious criminal thugs, and in ones, twos, and sixes, not one of them just shoots him in the face. However irrational this fictional world is, they have got gun control fucking solved.

To give you a taste of how nothing in the entire movie makes any damned sense, let’s take one particular scene and walk you through it. So Not!Statham’s car gets surrounded by a half dozen goons while he’s driving out of a different terrible action scene. He puts the car in neutral so it keeps rolling forward, jumps out, and then beats everybody up in time to step smoothly back into the car and floor it to ram through a locked gate. Which he could have just done in the first place instead, since very generally speaking automobiles are capable of running through unarmed minions.

In this particular film, Not!Statham is trying to help some extraordinarily high-priced call girls get revenge and escape from the stock Eurotrash villain whose empire is built on prostitution. I say extraordinarily because they end up stealing $320 million from him and at one point when he knows he’s been betrayed, he lines up all of his prostitutes. There are 11 of them. That has got to be the most efficient labor to profit ratio in world history. I mean, Marx wouldn’t even be mad, he’d just be impressed.

Come to think of it, every single female character in the film is a prostitute. Hilariously, it passes the Bechdel test since they have several conversations about their plot to steal lots of money and win their freedom in the process. Of course, they all bang Pullo and Not!Statham because of movie logic, and then all die except for the only one the writer bothered to actually name, so don’t get too excited about its progressivism.

If Getaway is the worst possible film, something like the absolute zero of cinema, something so bad that it can only be approached, but never reached, then The Transporter 4 ranks about a three-quarters Getaway on the scale. Don’t even watch it for free on cable if it comes on when you’re too drunk to move. Just roll off the bed and hope that you hit your head and pass out.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.