Starring: Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Loan Chabanol, Gabriella Wright,Anatole Taubman,Noemie Lenoir, Tatiana Pajkovic, Gabriella Wright,Wenxia Yu
Director: Camille Delamarre
At the outset, let me say I enjoyed watching Chris Vance as the titular hero in the TV adaptation of the popular action movie series starring Jason Statham as the former special op mercenary who will ferry a package for a price. No questions asked. Not even the client’s identity. Now, British actor and rapper Ed Skrein steps into Statham’s shoes in this thrilling crime thriller which is fourth in the franchise created by French film-maker Luc Besson (of “Taken” fame who had graced IFFI-Goa with his presence in 2011.) Monsieur Besson returns to this reboot, rather prequel, as co-writer alongwith two protegees: Camille Delamarre (BRICK MANSIONS) as director and Noémie Lenoir, as a femme fatale named Maissa.
The kick-ass prelude on the streets of Paris involving human trafficking is followed by former sex slave Anna (Loan Chabanol), who hires Frank Martin to be the getaway driver in a $300 million bank robbery designed to wipe out the finances of her former tormentor, the ruthless Russian crime kingpin who had bought and forced many young women, including Anna into the flesh trade. (I have never understood why and how some “feminists” insist sex is work!)
Revenge and the thirst for justice drives THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED with loads of action involving characters, some fleshed out, some not. Among the more interesting ones are the titular hero’s dad, Frank Martin Senior (Ray Stevenson) an Evian salesman cum spy with a penchant for getting abducted for ransom to ensure Frank Junior’s cooperation. There’s some father-son bonding as both Franks get romantically involved (well, almost) with two of the femme fatales as they strive to bring the villains to justice in an adrenaline-charged thrill ride. The ladies are as lovely as the French Riviera. Stevenson is a treat to watch, Skrein is,well, ho hum. Umm, let me just say he grows on you.