The Netflix Crime Thriller Reboot No One Gave A Fair Chance

By April Ryder | Published

If you’re a fan of the Transporter movies, then you may not have given Transporter: Refueled a fair shot at approval. The Transporter movies with Jason Statham at the helm gave the actor his rise to action stardom and stamped him as the one true Frank Martin for millions of fans worldwide. 

Transporter: Refueled Tried To Keep The Franchise Going

After two follow-up sequels and even a television series, the Transporter franchise has certainly been around the block a few times. Creating Transporter: Refueled seven years after Transporter 3 was released was a tall order from the very beginning, and changing the actor who played the main character crippled the reboot film even further. 

Ed Skrein Replaced Jason Statham

Fans aren’t historically kind to the replacement of their beloved stars, especially in action roles. There’s always a pushback when the torch changes hands, and Ed Skrein had some big shoes to fill after Statham exited stage left. 

Some would say that Ed Skrein did fill those shoes with his performance in Transporter: Refueled, but others might say he carved out his own path in the role, which is why the Netflix crime thriller reboot deserves another chance. 

Same Character, New Face

2015’s Transporter: Refueled once again features the main character Frank Martin, but this time Ed Skrein is the lead man. The smooth-talking, sharp-dressed Frank has been servicing top-tier clients in the south of France for some time, delivering important packages without question and successfully avoiding getting caught up in any ongoing drama or trouble. 

However, he is forced to ramp up his efforts and take a far more dangerous collection of jobs when his father (Ray Stevenson) is used as a bargaining tool by a femme fatale, Anna (Loan Chabanol). Bringing Frank Senior into the picture ends up being more than enough incentive for Frank Jr. to get himself back in the game. 

The Real Star Is The Car

Transporter: Refueled finds Frank Jr helping Anna exact revenge on a Russian crime lord with whom she has a sordid history, and one mess leads into another until you have yourself a whole action, crime, thriller flick. The car chases are fairly entertaining, despite some terrible shots and some very “not” scary villains, and Skrein does deliver ownership over the role that bleeds confidence. 

Transporter: Refueled Is Stuck In The Shadow Of Statham

If Transporter: Refueled were to stand alone without a super popular trilogy franchise and a dude like Jason Statham stealing the spotlight, it could have done much better among audiences. It’s not a bad movie when it stands alone, but it lacks consistency and quality against the body of work that already exists. 

It Wasn’t A Flop, But Also Not A Hit

When Transporter: Refueled hit theaters, it grossed around $72 million worldwide, which may seem like a low number today, but the film was produced on a $22 million budget. Leaving $50 million to clean up and pay everyone doesn’t seem too bad. 

Regardless, the movie is worth a watch. If you have yet to see it, Transporter: Refueled is now streaming on Netflix for those with a subscription to the channel. It has a runtime of around an hour and a half, and the film carries a ‘PG-13’ rating.