The Transporter Refueled (Blu-ray) (2015)

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Released 27-Jan-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 95:59
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Camille Delamarre
Studio
Distributor
20th CENTURY FOX
Icon Entertainment
Starring Ed Skrein
Ray Stevenson
Loan Chabanol
Gabriella Wright
Tatiana Pajkovic
Wenxia Yu
Radivoje Bukvic
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $29.95 Music Alexandre Azaria


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

††† The Transporter Refueled is at once wholly unrelated to the Jason Statham Transporter trilogy, and an attempt to continue the franchise as if nothing has changed. Indeed, this is a soft reboot of the Transporter series (without Statham) to whore out the brand name for all the money that itís worth, yet it isnít bold enough to try anything new, bringing back the same car, the same smart suit, the same lead character and the same type of visual style, except itís all executed on a slashed budget, and itís not even half as fun as its predecessors. (Hell, even Transporter 3 had its moments.) Suffering from a complete lack of logic and dismal acting, Refueled is a terrible new low for the series, and its technical presentation is about on the same level as a below-par straight-to-video endeavour. Trust me, itís bad.

††† In 1995, ruthless criminal Arkady (Radivoje Bukvic) takes over crime operations at the French Riviera, seeking to make a lot of money by exploiting women as high-price hookers. Fifteen years later, Anna (Loan Chabanol) looks to exact revenge on Arkady, teaming up with three of Arkadyís former prostitutes to steal his fortune and rob his associates. Needing a driver, Anna calls upon Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) for the job, but although she initially agrees to his list of rules, she instantly changes the contract and forces Frankís involvement by kidnapping his father, Frank Sr. (Ray Stevenson).

††† For absolutely no good reason, The Transporter Refueled apparently takes place in 2010, with the story opening in 1995 before flashing forward fifteen years, according to an on-screen caption. But this doesnít make much sense, since the characters drive 2015 model vehicles and use iPhone 5ís, leaving us to assume that either the prop department didnít get the memo, or the screenwriters were unable to handle basic math. Or nobody gave a s***. Worse, Refueled actually rips off scenes from the previous films, with Frank confronting a group of thugs in a car park who want to steal his ride, before proceeding to beat the snot out of them. And bringing in Frankís father only serves to rip off Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, with Frank Sr. calling his son ďJunior.Ē Dialogue is mostly awful, without any degree of wit, and the flick helps itself to piles of action movie clichťs. But an even more pertinent issue is that Refueled is flat-out boring. It clocks in at a rather slender 96 minutes, yet it feels twice as long, with wonky pacing and humdrum action scenes that are spoiled by jarring editing.

††† Refueled was directed by Camille Delamarre, who has a history with Luc Bessonís EuropaCorp production company; he directed Brick Mansions and edited both Transporter 3 and Taken 2. But none of these pictures are especially good, leaving us to wonder why he was the obvious choice for this outing. Surely Besson could have recruited a proper action director? Itís almost as if heís sabotaging his own movies. Even though Refueled thankfully doesnít rely so much on shaky-cam, editing is a blur, ruining the car chases and fisticuffs, with Delamarre struggling to find a proper rhythm amid all the harsh, frenetic cuts. Admittedly, things do improve to an extent in the third act, finding a few inspired moments of over-the-top lunacy, including Frank using filing cabinet draws during a brawl, and a jump from an airport tarmac into the boarding gate. The Transporter series is predicated on this type of tongue-in-cheek insanity, but thereís so little of it here, and Delamarre has no clue how to properly execute coherent, enjoyable set-pieces.

††† Skrein may not be Jason Statham, but he certainly wants to be. An Englishman much like his predecessor, Skrein espouses his best Statham growl impersonation (but itís still pretty bad), ostensibly even trying to mimic his walk at times, but itís all for naught. Whereas Statham exudes charisma and authority, Skrein is perhaps the least intimidating action hero wannabe of recent memory. The only real saving grace in the acting department is Stevenson, with the former Punisher showing that he still has what it takes. Honestly, this should have been Stevensonís show, since heís a far more agreeable movie badass. Hilariously, Stevenson is actually only three years older than Statham, and thereís a mere nineteen-year age gap between Stevenson and Skrein. The rest of the actors arenít really worth mentioning, with forgettable foreign actors speaking broken English, and with no names ever sticking.

††† At the end of the day, The Transporter Refueled is a pointless reboot that nobody wanted or asked for, and itís so creatively bankrupt and unengaging that you will instantly forget it before the end credits have even expired. Hell, itís possible to forget the movie whilst watching it, as my mind certainly wandered, pondering more interesting things. With the Transporter TV series seemingly over, and with this pile of crap racking up an unimpressive figure at the worldwide box office, hopefully this is the end of the franchise.

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Transfer Quality

Video

††† The Transporter Refueled looks respectable on Blu-ray, but itís far from reference material. Itís presented in 1080p high definition via its original aspect ratio of 2.40:1, encoded in AVC. I did not see this movie at the cinema (thankfully), so I cannot speak on the quality of the transfer in reference to its theatrical presentation, but the flaws of the transfer do appear to trace back to the source.

††† Although the transfer is reasonably detailed, sharp and clear, the movie looks far too digital. Itís flat, lacking a proper cinematic quality, resembling a straight-to-video actioner as opposed to a proper studio blockbuster. Some shots look soft, other shots look too smooth and lacking in fine detail, while I also noticed a few over-exposed moments. Refueled carries the look of a music video or a car commercial, with over-saturated colours, but it lacks the refinement and polish that a filmmaker like Michael Bay can impart (see the recent Bad Boys 2 Blu-ray). And dear God, this movie has just forced me to reference Michael Bay as a positive example.

††† Although Refueled looks undeniably problematic, at least it does not fall victim to black crush, aliasing or any other bothersome encoding artefacts, though darker scenes in a nightclub are a tad rough. And even though the image is over-saturated, colours remain stable and vibrant, sufficiently replicating the look of the movie. Close-ups are generally where the image fares best, with stubble and hair looking sharply defined. On the whole, this is a serviceable transfer that most likely replicates the source as well as it ever could.

††† Only English subtitles are available.


Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

††† At least this Blu-ray can get something right. The Transporter Refueled comes to Blu-ray with a bombastic DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track, while the disc also contains a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 track for unknown reasons. Anyway, the lossless track is a winner for the most part, though I again assume that the minor shortcomings are source-related.

††† Gunshots, engines, tyre screeches, punches and car crashes are the order of the day here, and the track delivers in spades, with great use of the subwoofer to ensure the action scenes pack a lot of oomph. Dialogue is mostly reserved for the front channels, and itís acceptable, though the characters do tend to whisper or growl a fair bit, which does sound a tad low compared to the noisy action scenes.

††† Surround channels are frequently put to use, creating an immersive soundscape during all of the car chases, while the aforementioned nightclub scene fills the speakers with precise, clean, loud DJ music. There isnít too much to complain about here, except that the movie still isnít any good, even if the audio is awesome.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

††† Perhaps mercifully, nothing at all is included here.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

† † So here's what the American release, distributed by 20th Century Fox, includes:

Well, the movie isn't worth buying and it's certainly not worth importing for twenty minutes of featurettes. Choose whichever.

Summary

††† Believe the critical mauling: The Transporter Refueled is an incompetent mess of an action movie. It's not worth seeing, especially if you actually like the Transporter movies. Skip it.

††† Video and audio are acceptable, and there are no extras. I say again, skip it.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDPlayStation 4, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42LW6500. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationLG BH7520TW
SpeakersLG Tall Boy speakers, 5.1 set-up, 180W

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