Car chase scenes in movizzzzzzz. Sorry. Fell asleep there. Let’s try again. Car chasezzzzz. Is it just me or do car chases in movies really suck these days. If we take Mad Max out of the equation, when was the last time you saw a car chase movie or scene that was exhilarating enough to keep you on the edge of your seat as you pretend to shift gears in the theatre. Even the Fast and Furious movies have run their course on the pavement and had to inject superstars Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson into the mix just to keep us from nodding off.
Yet, Hollywood continues to put their pedal to the metal and produce low-octane films about men speeding in their supped up cars. Need for Speed last year was atrociously bad. And Getaway was even worse. Still, this didn’t stop producers for fronting monies to reboot the Transporter franchise with Ed Skrein replacing Jason Statham as transporter Frank Martin.
In this silly and unnecessary reboot of sorts, Frank Martin helps a particular femme fatale and her posse of pussy who are looking to extract revenge upon a Russian Kingpin that had thrust them into a world of prostitution. In an effort to persuade Frank into assisting in their ho-hum plan they kidnap Frank Martin’s father (Ray Stevenson) who expertly uses his charm to have a menage-a-trois with the same women that are fighting against sexual slavery. Makes sense to me.
Anyhowz, you can guess what happens next. There are fights with weapons that seem awfully handy. There are car chases, beautiful women and things that explode in the background with none of our heroes getting much other than the odd scratch.
I was never a true fan of the Transporter series. The first film was interesting but largely because Statham played the character as a reluctant hero. I never thought any of the car action sequences to be memorable and any entry in the series is a far way away from any sort of recommendation. That said, Transporter 1 and 2 look like multi-layered character pieces compared to this hunk of junkyard metal. Luc Besson is credited as a co-writer, but so is Adam Cooper and Bill Collage and three cooks in the kitchen usually means a few broken eggs. Here though, the whole omelet is inedible. None of the characters are believable. None of the characters are any fun. And the action so far-fetched that I expected Wille E. Coyote to paint a tunnel on a big slab of rock right before the bad guys hit it full force.
I can’t lay blame on new-Martin Ed Skrein. Although he doesn’t add any layers to a character that had long peeled his dramatic onion, Skrein does his best with what stupid material he is given on the script page. Stevenson is always fun to watch, but you can tell this was a paycheck cashing adventure rather than something he might ever fight to include on a Ray Stevenson Collection DVD package in the future.
The result is a snoozefest. Boring people doing things we have seen before, or at the very least, better. It might not be the worst movie of the year, but to give it that credo would mean I didn’t try to shut my eyes and grab a snooze while the movie was playing. And I am sure of guilty of that.