Once upon a time, when B-list action movies were given C-list sequels with D-list stars, they always went straight to the video stores instead of going to theaters.
There was a sort of understanding between studios and audiences that if someone was going to make a movie with video store quality, they were not going to try and trick their audience into paying movie theater dollars.
Presently, with the growing abundance of movies like “The Transporter Refueled” being given wide theatrical releases, it is safe to say that mutual understanding has been cast aside. Studios are now more than happy to be snake oil salesmen who try to sneak their products onto pharmacy shelves.
The first and most foul-tasting issue with this deceitful product is that they replaced Jason Statham, the only thing anyone cared about from the franchise. That would be like Belts replacing all of their ice cream with mashed potatoes and then wondering why sales are suddenly going down.
Producers could have cast a potato in the lead role, and the final product would have been just as good. The new “star,” Ed Skrein, is someone you haven’t heard of, and someone you never should have. His biggest claim to fame is being so boring during his short time on “Game of Thrones” that he had to be replaced by an actor whose beard alone is more charismatic than Skrein was during his entire run.
Skrein’s boring performance is far from being the only thing wrong with “Refueled,” it’s only the most obvious and egregious. The movie also piles on plenty of horrific dialogue and lazy plot. You could accuse the last “Fast & Furious” for having most of the same problems, but I gave that a much better review because the actors are much more likeable and they avoid the same level of blatant sexism that seems to be the actual gas that “Refueled” is running on.
“Transporter Refueled” gets four flat tires out of 10.