Transporter Refueled — How Do You Compete With Stupid?

If you don’t mind stupid, Transporter Refueled is not nearly so awful as reviews might have you believe.

Even though the fourth film in the Transporter series, Transporter Refueled, is an amateurish mess. I would personally recommend it as a fun, sometimes charming, film.

Truth be told, I went in expecting to hate this movie or to fall asleep in the first twenty minutes. The last thing I expected was to enjoy the film.

First of all, I thought this would be a big budget monster of a film with sci-fi overtones – a transporter moving from time zone to time zone.

Instead, I watched a modest, organic, film – just people punching and taking pot shots at each other and some pleasing, leggy, women to ogle. Nobody is time traveling at all. This is the good news.

Now the sobering news: At this stage in the game, it’s time to admit with as much candor as possible that the seven Fast and Furious movies, to which Transporter owes the most allegiance, have systematically lowered the bar on action film expectations.

There is a neat trick in which Frank Martin, the Transporter (played by Ed Skrein), pivots his Audi sports car around a cobblestone circle and knocks the caps off four successive fire plugs, which erupt in fountains of water that dethrones the four motorcycle police in pursuit. But the rest of the car chases are comically bad. The police drive like Japanese kamikaze pilots in pursuit of objects to hit. Look – a double-decker bus full of plastic explosives! Yay! Crash! Boom! Didn’t see that coming.

As part of the amateurish aspects to this film, one police car is cruising around at about 25 miles per hour, but when it rams into another car head on, it suddenly catapults about 35 feet into the air, as if it had been going 150 mph. Whee!

In another dopey moment, one of the leading ladies is shot. In pure thriller-movie mode, Martin’s father (played by Ray Stevenson) calls for sugar and a mass of spider webs. The sugar is to serve as an antibiotic, we are told. The mass of spider webs, which he jams into her gaping stomach wound, hastens blood coagulation.

This is perhaps the highlight of the movie’s script. But later in the same day, this same woman, Maria (played by Tatjana Pajkovic) is up and running around, dodging bullets again as if some sort of miracle cure had gotten her off her deathbed.

In short, if you have high standards for stupid, this movie will strike you as stupid.

If you don’t really care one way or another, there are some fun, tense moments in this film. Despite everything else, that is.

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