I love “hard man” films. Dirty Harry, Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude, Seagal, Jet Li, Statham; the one thing they all possessed was a sense of controlled violence waiting to be unleashed. Unfortunately, Transporter Refueled has all the danger of a kitten playing with a ball of string.
Ed Skrein manages the walking tall part adequately, but instead of using fighting choreography to make his fights exciting, Camille Delamare’s constantly-changing camera angles “suggest” the action sequences. At one point I couldn’t even tell who was hitting who as it cut from shot to shot with barely a pause. Coupled with this is the utter lack of menace Rasha Bukvic possesses as the head of a Russian mafia syndicate. In no way was this guy scary, or even interesting. Loan Chabanol and her crew of female badasses look good, but don’t make much of an impact.
What’s really frustrating is they did have good ideas in the film – creative twists on fights, car chases and stunts – but it’s all made irrelevant by the editing and completely bland performances. I knew I’d be getting fast cars, fisticuffs, a hard man and bad women. Sadly, the cars were the only things that didn’t fail to deliver.