Nowadays, Jason Statham may be an iconic action star more than capable of headlining a string of hit films, but way back in 2002, it was a relatively small film named The Transporter – which ultimately led to two successful sequels and a television series – that made him a household name. With Statham’s schedule now jam-packed with numerous starring vehicles as well as supporting roles in both The Expendables and Fast & Furious franchises, it’s not a huge surprise that EuropaCorp is opting to reboot the Transporter franchise.
We’ve known for a while that Ed Skrein would take Statham’s place behind the steering wheel as badass no-nonsense driver Frank Martin in The Transporter Refueled. The actor is perhaps best known for his role as Daario Naharis in three episodes of Game of Thrones, but now that the Transporter reboot is gearing up to hit theaters, we’re getting a better sense of how his take may compare to Statham’s.
Courtesy of Machinima, a new trailer for the film has been released online (see above). The new footage doesn’t reveal much more plot-wise than what was featured in the first full-length trailer, though it does provide a taste of the kinetic hand-to-hand combat and high-speed action scenes the film will have in store for moviegoers next month. These sorts of movies have never been so much about the plot, but at least in this case, fans are getting a bit more background on Martin than in previous big-screen installments (courtesy of director Camille Delamarre (Brick Mansions (2014)) and screenwriters Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (Exodus: Gods and Kings)).
Despite the trailer’s clichéd “this time it’s personal” approach to marketing the film, this does look very much like the previous films in the series and is very clearly not taking very many risks (as far as stylistic approach to the material or the depiction of its lead character goes). In fact, if anything, Skrein comes across too much as a Statham stand-in. From his dry humor to his fighting style, his Martin bears such a resemblance to his predecessor’s performance – judging strictly by the trailer, of course – that the film could suffer as a result. Moreover, since the Transporter role really launched Statham’s career, many of his roles since hewed closely to that onscreen persona, making it even trickier for Skrein to make Martin his own.
Its potentially controversial casting aside, The Transporter Refueled should be a fun ride for fans of the franchise, even if it doesn’t aim to reinvent the series along the way. Ray Stevenson as Martin’s father is a particularly strong bit of casting, and if nothing else, moviegoers should be able to get the chance to see father and son take on the bad guys together. After all, it’s worth exploring how much of Martin’s skills are genetic.
The Transporter Refueled hits theaters on September 4, 2015.