THE TRANSPORTER: REFUELED (2015)


Directed By: Camille Delamarre Written By: Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Luc Besson Based on Characters Created by Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen  Cinematography: Christophe Collette & Vincent Richard  Editor: Julien Rey 

Cast: Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Loan Chabanol, Gabriella Wright, Tatiana Pajkovic, Noemie Lenoir 

In the south of France, former special-ops mercenary Frank Martin enters into a game of chess with a femme-fatale and her three sidekicks who are looking for revenge against a sinister Russian kingpin.


I can understand the desire to keep this franchise going, but they needed to try a bit harder to make something more Dramatic that would justify it.

As this film with a new lead playing the character might as well have been a better-funded episode of the television series based on the films. As the lead is serviceable but like the film itself is forgettable.

As the film is basically more of the same from the original films only without a recognizable charismatic leading actor.

It still has plenty of action scenes that are hand to hand and gunplay as well as plenty of high-speed chases and car stunts. So you get what you came for. As well as plenty of beautiful European women in states of undress.

Here the story revolves around the past and has more double-crosses than you can count as the transporter’s father is part of the schemes and plans this time. As the transporter seems to the only character with a code.

Watching this and the movie HITMAN is confusing as they are both similar with noticeable differences. As they both have seemingly invincible leading characters only one is actually enhanced which is why he stays invincible and faces others like himself. Here the lead character is always smarter than everyone else and extremely lucky. Not that it is ever explained fully why.

It feels like more of the same but less personal. As we have to get used to an all-new driver who lacks history or any real charisma. As to why we should care. We seem here only to watch how he completes his mission. As he comes off more as a super-spy undercover in a criminal element.

So if just looking for a quick fix of action and pretty European locations. This is a film for you. As at least I can say you will find some fun and excitement at times with this film. No matter how generic it mostly comes off as.

Grade: D

BANDIDAS (2006)

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Directed By: Joachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg
Written By: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
Cinematography By: Thierry Arbogast
Editor: Frederic Thoraval

Cast: Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek, Steve Zahn, Dwight Yoakam, Sam Shepard, Denis Arndt

In 1848, a New York bank wants to put a railroad across Mexico, so it buys up small banks around Santa Rita, Durango, and evicts farmers on the proposed rail line who owe money. The bank’s henchman is the murderous Jackson. He runs afoul of two women, María, the tough but uneducated daughter of a farmer, and Sara, the European-educated daughter of the owner of one of these banks. To feed the now landless people and to seek revenge, María and Sara become bank robbers, veritable Robin Hoods. But Jackson and his hired guns are after them. What are the women’s options?

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ANNA (2019)

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Written & Directed By: Luc Besson
Cinematography By: Thierry Arbogast
Editor: Julien Rey 

Cast: Sasha Luss, Cillian Murphy, Luke Evans, Helen Mirren, Lera Abova, Alexander Petrov, Anna Krippa 

Anna is a young beautiful girl who managed to make a career in the fashion world. More recently, she was a simple model from Moscow, but in a very short time she was able to enter the elite. Once she entered the hotel of an influential and very dangerous person, after which a whole mountain of corpses was discovered there. The girl is being interrogated by special services, but she has absolutely nothing to tell on this fact. She looks scared, and no one suspects her. Anna goes free and begins preparing for a new business. Under the guise of a fragile beauty, is hiding the world’s most dangerous assassin, who has not yet misfired.

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LOCKOUT (2012)

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Directed By: James Mather & Stephen Saint Leger
Written By: James Mather, Stephen Saint Leger & Luc Besson
Based On A Story By: Luc Besson
Based on “ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK” By: John Carpenter & Nick Castle
Cinematography: James Mather
Editor: Eammon Power & Camille Delamarre 



Cast: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Lennie James, Vincent Regan, Joseph Gilgun, Jacky Ido, Peter Stomare 


In 2079, in Washington, the ex-CIA Operative Snow is brutally interrogated, accused of treason against the United States. The chief of the secret service Scott Langral believes that he shot the agent Frank in a hotel room. Meanwhile, the idealistic daughter of the president of the USA, Emilie Warnock, is visiting MS One, a maximum security prison in outer space expecting to find evidence that the prisoners are actually guinea pigs of a huge corporation. When one of her bodyguards loses a hidden pistol to the dangerous prisoner Hydell, he subdues the staff in the central control room and releases the prisoners, including his brother Alex who becomes the leader of the riot. Now the veteran agent Harry Shaw offers freedom to Snow if he succeeds in rescuing the president’s daughter. But the idealistic Emilie does not want to leave MS-One without the hostages.

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POINT OF NO RETURN (1993)

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Director: John Badham
Written By: Robert Getchell & Alexandra Seros
Based on the original Screenplay By: Luc Besson
Cinematography: Michael Watkins
Editor: Frank Morriss
Music By: Hans Zimmer

Cast: Bridget Fonda, Gabriel Byrne, Anne Bancroft, Miguel Ferrer, Dermot Mulroney, Harvey Keitel, Olivia D’Abo, Richard Romanus, Geoffrey Lewis, Lorraine Toussaint, Michael Rapaport 


Drug addict Maggie Hayward’s consistent violence, even in police custody, ends in the execution chamber. However, top secret U.S. government Agent “Bob” arranges a staged death, so Maggie can be elaborately trained as a killer. She gets a new cover identity as saleswoman Claudia Anne Doran. She also finds a housemate, building super J.P., a broad-minded, gentle photographer. The two fall in love, and that complicates her government assignments. His influence extends to breeding in her a conscience that supplants her violent tendencies, and desire to continue work for the agency.

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FROM PARIS WITH LOVE (2010)

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Directed By: Pierre Morel
Written By: Adi Hasak
Story By: Luc Besson
Cinematography By: Michael Abramowicz
Editor: Frederic Thoraval

Cast: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak, Amber Rose Revah, Richard Durden 


James Reece is an ambitious aide to the U.S. Ambassador in Paris, doing little jobs for the CIA and hoping to get into black ops. On the night he and his girlfriend, Caroline, become engaged, he’s told to pick up Charlie Wax at Orly. Charlie is an unorthodox government employee – large, bald and bearded, foul-mouthed and eccentric. Charlie immediately takes James on a wild ride of murder and mayhem, through ethnic enclaves. As bodies pile up, the purpose remains opaque to James. Caroline, unhappy that James has been out of touch for a day, tells him to bring Charlie for dinner. Charlie can be charming – where will it lead? Does the chess-playing James have what it takes?

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VALERIAN & THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS (2017)

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Written & Directed By: Luc Besson
Based on the Comic Book Series “Valerian and Laureline” By: Pierre Christin & Jean-Claude Mezieres
Cinematography By: Thierry Arbogast
Editor: Julien Rey 


Cast: Dale DeHann, Cara Delevingne, Ethan Hawke, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu, Alain Chabat, Rugter Hauer, Louis Letterier, Benoit Jacquot, Olivier Megaton 


In the Century XXVIII, the space station Alpha is a city where beings from different planets live together exchanging their knowledge and culture. Peace is granted by a human force, including Major Valerian and his partner Sergeant Laureline. They are assigned by the Defence Minister to retrieve the last species of converter in a dangerous mission. They succeed and back to Alpha, unknown humanoids abduct Commander Arun Filitt expecting to steal the converter. They head to a forbidden area that is infected but Valerian and Laureline follow them and disclose a hidden secret about the race and the infected area.


The film might have played better as an animated film. Which would have saved on the budget. Though As the Live action element is what brings the audience in. It also exposes the weaker and more ridiculous elements of the film.

The one thing I can say positively about this film is that it is very beautiful and very colorful.

The film seems more hellbent on truly creating and immersing you in it’s world. Then adding a plot line they relied heavily on a conspiracy. As it will leave the audience confused with action sequences that are exciting, but we wonder not only what it the point as it serves as a distraction or sidebar to the main story. Which only comes into focus later in the film. As at times you forget what is the main point of the film.

The film is filled with side characters galore. Who are great in small doses and would work as recurring characters. You want to see come into the film if it became a franchise.

The film reaches for epic heights as it desires to explore a galaxy and feels way too long. As often the film ends up being confusing for the audience and it seems to be confused itself.

Rihanna’s scenes are one of the only time the movie becomes lively and truly alive. Even with the thinness of the writing for her character and making it obvious it was written for a star to play.

The two leads are miscast and have absolutely no chemistry or believability in their roles. Dale Dehann is usually a good actor but a heroic action lead does nothing for him. He never comes off as dangerous or authoritative.

Cara Delevingne has the look but for such an unorthodox character. She lacks any charisma or signs of life for her character. So she comes off as stiff and non-exciting. Though most of the cast plays it as seriously as they can but at least with flair.

Even the humor throughout the film comes off as stilted and is never as funny as it thinks it is.

You can see the budget of $200 million independently financed dollars on the screen. As the film is definitely audacious. Yet it feels rather formless and is after an experience more than just a plotted film narrative adventure.

It does feel more like a comic book type movie as the adventures seem to come and pile up on Top of one another. Which is what leads to the confusion.

The opening scene works as a prologue with great silent filmmaking that ties the majority of the rest of the film together, but could have been a great short film itself and shows what the film could have been.

Director Luc Besson is a success and has made enough movies through producing and either screenwriting it story by credits. Though as a director his career started off well and seen as a major force of French filmmaking behind the camera. His later more modern projects have proved to be more disappointing and rather commercially bland (THE FAMILY) This project like his previous science fiction film THE FIFTH ELEMENT Seemed to have both sides working together when it came to artistic and commercial filmmaking.

While this is a beautiful film to behold. It feels like an amusement park ride. Exciting while here as it fills you with joy and opens plenty of distractions. Once it’s over you leave with an empty feeling and a sensitivity to lights as the move is really about nothing and seem to have no point or heart. Even though it’s supposed to be about humanity.

I realize this is a popcorn movie, but you leave with barely anything to hold on to. Barely even the filmmaking. Only the special effects.

This is what I mean when I refer to this film as a digital movie. It seems more made on a computer rather than physically. As this movie is a prime example of DIGITAL MOVIES.

These are films that are supposed to be live action but seen more animated. Truly dependent on special effects more than anything not necessarily movies like THOR: RANGAROK but more films like WARCRAFT that are based on videotapes which these digital films more remind you of as everything is more photorealistic then real. Except for some live action filmed.

As sometimes depending on the source material that is the only way it seems to be able to make them

Not necessarily films like POLAR EXPRESS which despite using motion capture technology is still considered an animated film overall more like something and where at least I began to notice it heavily a movie like VAN HELSING.

Now with studios having more of a desire to make live action renditions of traditionally animated tales. It seems unavoidable as technology has caught up but the reasons these tapes were animated to begin with seems to be that they were so hard or expensive to make love action on the first place.

Now of course more and more films use CGI for or instead of special effects but these specific films are just filled with so much digital in that you can barely tell what is physical and real.

I decided to address this phenomena or type of film as it is not totally a genre. After watching this film and having recently seeing the trailer for Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the book READY PLAYER ONE. Which has so many pop culture references that it seems needed for a film of that magnitude where you get to rewrite and reenact so many classic moments.

These films are pure imagination as they are on another level of things we can never love or envision. Which was also thought of movies and film at certain points. I don’t know if it’s good or not better for the future but I believe it to be a new medium and reality to a certain degree we will have to get used to. Less human and more artificial and stylish.

Films such as AVATAR and VAN HELSING, This film comes off as an less balanced AVATAR

I will give the film points for what it tried to achieve, but needed more balance and a more steady tone.

The movie feels like a WATERWORLD esque fiasco without the star power or ego to blame it on. It is similar seemingly singular grand epic vision that no one in particular asked for or even requested or thought needed.

Though have to give it up for trying something so big and somewhat experimental.

Grade D+