Tag Archives: Transporter Refueled

Worst Films of 2015

Now that I’ve gotten by Best Films of 2015 out of the way, here are the worst.

Special Mention

Southpaw – I kind of wish I gave it a lower rating than 2 stars because it deserves a place on my list. Okay, so it’s not one of the top 10 worst films of 2015, but it certainly is my most disappointing film of that year for all the lazy boxing cliches and complete lack of real-world authenticity. Read the full review by clicking on the title because I don’t want to go through all my grievances again.

Dishonorable Mentions

Aloha, The Boy Next Door, Fifty Shades of Grey, The Lazarus Effect, Unnatural, The Vatican Tapes, Deep Dark, Blunt Force Trauma

Some of the usual suspects here, but also a lot of low budget horror movies.

The List

10. Point Break

Huge budget. Huge stinker. This film deserves a spot on my list for destroying the memory of one of my favourite films growing up. They really should have changed the name of the film and the characters and marketed it as a different movie. Wouldn’t have made it less shit, but it would have made it less offensive.

9. Extraction

Bruce Willis is heading toward Nicolas Cage territory. This vanilla action-thriller offers virtually nothing new, interesting or exciting.

8. The Transporter Refueled

Was never a big fan of the Transporter franchise, even when Jason Statham was headlining it. Exchange him with significantly less charismatic Ed Skrein (he was OK in Deadpool as the villain), make the production shittier by 40%-50%, and this is the film you end up with.

7. Poltergeist

I recall the original 1982 Poltergeist was scary. I will recall the 2015 remake as laughably bad. Zero tension, zero atmosphere, zero scares. It’s a complete and utter mess.

6. Area 51

I was a little excited by this movie because I used to be obsessively fascinated by Area 51, the place where the government stashes all the secret alien stuff if conspiracy theorists are to be believed. But they really dropped the ball on this one. Part of it is the low budget (looks and feels cheap), part of it is the awful found-footage trope, and part of it is that it’s just plain bad. I almost feel bad for putting this film on the list because it’s so amateurish.

5. Hot Pursuit

In any other year, this might be the worst comedy of the year (see below). I like the actresses (Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara), but this was just so lame and cringeworthy that I couldn’t help but feel extremely disappointed — for them and for myself.

4. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

This entry should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed my Worst Of lists, as Paranormal Activity is always bound to make an appearance. The scariest part of this film is that it could actually be the worst of the entire franchise. Shudder.

3. Mortdecai

I didn’t believe in the rumours so I checked it out for myself. Huge mistake. This was one of the few times in my life that I’ve actually felt embarrassed for the actors in a movie. It really is that criminally unfunny.

2. The Gallows

The premise of a death haunting a school play seemed like a decent idea, and yet somehow the filmmakers made the worst of it. The result was a shoddy, nonsensical production and an unwatchable horror flick without any scares.

1. Lost After Dark

If there is one thing this year’s Worst Of list has taught me, it is that I need to stay away from low-budget horror movies. This sorry excuse of a slasher movie that tried to pay “homage” to the crap slashers of the 80s was the worst of them all. This film was so bad that it went beyond “so bad it’s good”.

And there you have it.

The Transporter Refueled (2015)

transporter

I never thought much of the Transporter films that launched the career of Jason Statham, perhaps the definitive martial arts action star of this generation. And so I don’t know what possessed me to watch The Transporter Refueled, yet another reboot of a franchise that’s not even a decade removed from its last entry (Transporter 3 was released in 2008).

As I discovered, Refueled is actually supposed to be the first of a new “prequel trilogy” tracing the exploits of the same protagonist, Frank Martin, aka The Transporter. The new actor playing the role is Ed Skrein, who had a short-lived stint on Game of Thrones as Daario before being replaced due to “politics” (his words). I guess Skrein is supposed to be a younger version of Martin, though the reality is that Skrein is 32, just three years younger than Statham when the latter starred in the first Transporter film.

Anyway, Refueled is, as expected, laughably bad. It literally made me laugh. The plot revolves around a gang of prostitutes seeking revenge after waiting for 15 years (the specifics are never really explained properly) and seek Martin’s services to help them achieve this goal. As insurance, they kidnap Martin’s father (Ray Stevenson), who seems to be both very capable and useless.

You can tell what they were going for with this film. A low-budget (US$22 million) cash grab with a hot new star in Skrein, a bunch of sexy lingerie models, and loads of fast cars and hand-to-hand combat sequences. If it does well, then boom, two more similar films. If not, then no big deal. It’s made US$33 million thus far, which I’m not sure is quite enough to justify sequels (first Transporter made nearly US$44 million at a budget of US$21 million).

Economics aside, there are just so many problems with this film. The first is that Ed Skrein is no Jason Statham. Martin is an iconic character, and the films are too close together for people to forget that he made famous by Statham. Plus Statham had the charisma and the real moves as an accomplished martial artists. When you look at how buffed and slick he is you can believe his badassness. Skrein’s other talent is rapping, and while he’s more traditionally handsome than Statham, he’s not rugged enough by comparison to the original. He’s too tall and gangly, all arms and legs, and he lacks the swift brutality that made Statham such a cool character. Skrein is basically Nicholas Hoult with more muscles and less acting ability, with a style of speaking that comes across as a mumblier British version of Jack Bauer.

You can feel a sense of sexism in the writing of the female characters too. They’re supposed to be criminal masterminds who have been plotting for years, but at various points throughout the movie they’re painted as stupid and emotional and unstable. They look good in skimpy outfits though.

The dialogue is not as appalling as it could have been, though the overall writing and plot development is very poor. (I’m breaking my spoiler-free rule here for those who want to know how funny this movie is, so skip the rest of this paragraph if you still think you might see it.) The film starts when a group of mobsters shoot dead a  bunch of people and takes over the local prostitution ring. We then move forward 15 years (the prostitutes have aged remarkably well), and when we see the gangsters again, the film zooms in on each of them and flashes back 15 years to remind us which gangster they were (like it matters because they’re all just forgettable cannon fodder anyway). I’m being totally serious here. Each and every one of them, one after the other. Reminds me of an Indian soap opera that has to find ways to fill five minutes of running time with a one-page script. Another funny moment is when Martin is driving the women away from a gangster compound and a bunch of goons walk up to the car with no guns (for some reason they all like hand-to-hand combat), but instead of just running over all of them, Martin gets out of the car, and while it continues to roll forward at a snail’s pace he beats them all up by hand before getting back in the car and driving off. “The most hilarious part of the film is that after Martin’s dad is finally released by the hot prostitute women (after a threesome with two of them, no less). Literally a minute later, Martin receives a call from the gangsters, and guess what? His dad got kidnapped again! Twice in one film! You would have thought they’d come up with more than one plot device to advance the narrative.

Refueled is similar in concept to the recent Hitman: Agent 47 film in that they’re both cheap action reboots. Like Agent 47, Refueled does have some decent action sequences — nothing memorable, though well-executed — but its tone is far too serious to fit with the silliness of the film. Agent 47‘s tone was a little all over the place, but at least it seemed to acknowledge how ridiculous it was. My guess is that Refueled was aiming for a Fast & Furious vibe but failed miserably.

On the whole, Refueled more or less turned out the way I expected. It’s a B-grade film that ought to have been a straight-to-DVD experience at best, but because we’re all idiots we get to waste our money on crap like this at the cinema.

1.5 stars out of 5