The Transporter Trilogy made Jason Statham a household name with action fans; as I’ve said previously they came along during a quiet period for the genre. It was shortly after 9/11 and audiences were more interested in looking for an escape from grim realities and The Transporter hit the right spot.
Sunny climates, fast cars, one-liners and Statham at his badass best were the order of the day and it was a formula that worked.
Frank Martin quickly became an icon of action and when you heard his name you’d think of Jason Statham.
Several years passed after the third movie and we wondered if we would ever see a fourth; instead we got a TV series and I have to be honest that I haven’t seen it yet. Without The Stath I’m not really all that interested and fan reaction hasn’t been all that positive.
Now we have a fourth movie coming up which is essentially reboot with Statham once again MIA and being replaced by Game of Thrones’ Ed Skrein.
From the trailer Skrein has his work cut out to fill Statham’s shoes and there hasn’t been anything that’s grabbed me; for one thing the main fight in the clip seemed to be the same one from The Transporter 2 opening scene.
The story is as follows:
In France’s criminal underworld, Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) is known as The Transporter—the best driver and mercenary money can buy. Frank will deliver anything for a price. He lives by three rules: no names, no questions and no renegotiations—that is until he meets the mysterious Anna (Loan Chabanol), the lethal leader of a group of deadly assailants.
Anna wants to take down a ruthless group of Russian human traffickers and knows Frank is the best man for the job. To get him on board, she kidnaps his father (Ray Stevenson) and holds him for ransom. Frank and his father find themselves forced to team up with Anna.
Oh look, it’s ANOTHER movie about human trafficking; yes we get it guys. I think it’s great that you’re bringing attention to this subject but this is becoming overkill.
The best thing about it is the addition of Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone) as Frank’s father. That’s a nice twist and I’m hoping we get some good father/son banter.
The action also looks pretty decent as well with some impressive stunts.
The problem is though the sheer lack of star power; I mean aside from fans of Game of Thrones fans nobody else really knows who Ed Skrein is and he looks like he’s trying to do a Statham impression but failing. He just doesn’t look like Frank Martin to me; he seems to lack the menace that Statham has.
Statham is who people want to see as Frank Martin and I think it’s safe to say when this movie comes out in the fall, its box office won’t be all that huge.
Let’s face it though, The Transporter movies don’t need to be massive; the other movies all made less than $50 million domestically.
1 Transporter 2 $43,095,856
2 Transporter 3 $31,715,062
3 The Transporter $25,296,447
The budget to the first movie was only $21 million so I imagine that Refuled won’t be much higher than that. Worldwide The Transporter made $43,928,932 which would cover the costs of production and make a small profit. The sequels made a little more though so maybe the brand name recognition will go in this new movie’s favour.
The fact that it is coming out in the fall after blockbuster season may also help its chances as people may want their action fix.
So in its favour:
Some fun looking action sequences & Ray Stevenson as Frank Martin’s father. The time of year means it will have little competition.
But what of the bad:
Ed Skrein is no Statham so the jury is out if audiences will flock to see this reboot. The unoriginal story and lack of real star power may also hurt it.
So will Transporter: Refuled be a Hit or a Miss? I reckon it will make maybe $20-30 million domestically in its full run if they’re really lucky but without Statham though I see this maybe being a miss.