The Transporter Refueled

Well, if you’re going to have a revenge movie, it may as well be plotting vengeance against the ruthless Russian mobster who forced you into sex slavery at age 13.
Loan Chabanol plays Anna, who, as an adult, managed to finally escape her captors, but not before they had used her as a streetwalker near a high-class hotel on the French Riviera. She, along with her sisters-in-bondage Gina (Gabriella Wright) and Maria (Tatiana Pajkovic) decide they want to punish their captors in the only way they would understand: take away their money.
The three beauties use identical blonde wigs and matching red dresses to carry out their well-planned heists of safety deposit boxes and numbered bank accounts, but they need one man’s help: The Transporter.
Frank Martin (Ed Skrein, who’s taken up the mantle from Jason Statham) is the Driver Extraordinaire: on a straight street chase, no one can catch him. He makes his living transporting “packages” for clients: no questions asked. No names, either. And never be late. And, of course, payment in cash. Out of the souped-up Audi, Frank is also very useful in a fight, but prefers almost anything except a gun: fists, wires, ropes, drawers: whatever happens to be available.
Since Frank has no wife or children, his only vulnerability is his Dad, Frank Senior (Ray Stevenson), a former special-ops soldier who complains about his low pension, but somehow he’s managed to stash some away, and live very comfortably. But he’s still attracted to the sudden appearance of a beautiful damsel in distress. Trouble is, there was nothing wrong with her tire, she was actually laying a trap for him to kidnap him, in order to coerce the cooperation of Frank (Junior) in the big hooker revenge plot.
Here’s where the Stockhold Syndrome takes hold: not only does Frank Senior develop an empathy for his captors, so does Frank Junior. This, despite the fact that they’ve planted a poison into Frank Senior’s drink and only they have the antidote, which pretty much guarantees Frank Junior’s reluctant cooperation. But he’s needed, of course, when things get rough with the local toughs.
Of course we have the chase scenes, and impossible escapes. It’s kind of a “hard” PG-13, because although they’re careful not to trigger the automatic “R” rating with certain language or specific nudity, there’s plenty of sexuality thrown around, and lots of violence. It’s so fast-paced that there’s not much times to think about plot holes; we just know we want this unlikely alliance of lawbreakers to succeed against the “really bad” guys, so we find ourselves rooting for crashes from the pursuing police, who always appear to be overmatched and one step behind.
Beautiful setting, beautiful women, perilous situations: it’s a visual feast that won’t stand up under very much scrutiny, but it’s fun to watch and lightweight enough for some end-of-summer escapism.

Questions For Discussion:
  1. Are there any circumstances that you would root for the robbers against the cops?
  2. With the recent publicity about violence involving the police, both as perpetrators and victims, what’s your opinion about the level of armament required for law enforcement?
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen is the Supply Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Kaufman, Texas