Like James Bond, wilfully anonymous driver Frank Martin is reborn as a new actor without any fuss, shifting the tone of the franchise from Jason Statham's knowing wink to Ed Skrein's stone-faced glower. But even though the new film is a lot less camp, it's still deliriously preposterous, pinging between dimwitted dialogue and jaw-droppingly silly action. It's utterly inane, but never dull and often very funny, sometimes intentionally so.
Skrein's Frank is still based on the French Riviera, where he has three simple rules to ensure plausible deniability about whoever or whatever he carries around in his shiny, seemingly indestructible Audi (product placement alert!). Then he's contacted by high-class hooker Anna (Loan Chabanol), who has escaped from her Russian mafioso bosses and is out for revenge. She hires Frank to carry her and a mini-UN of angry ex-prostitutes (Gabriella Wright, Tatiana Pajkovic and Wenxia Wu) to a variety of heists aimed at top Russians, with their final sites on kingpin Karasov (Radivoje Bukvic). When Frank balks at this, the women kidnap his father (Ray Stevenson) to force him to comply, and soon both dad and son are in the middle of the action themselves. Chases in cars, motorbikes, planes and boats ensue, as gangsters shoot at them and the police try to catch them.
Basically, this is a series of elaborately staged set-pieces held together by the bare hint of a plot, as this quartet of scantily clad women take on the macho thugs who have enslaved them. In the middle, Frank looks like a model in his sleek suit, while his dad provides some comical relief. It never makes much sense at all, and the action sequences aren't particularly well staged, relying on lots of slow motion to make everything look achingly cool. But there's a level of inventiveness in the mayhem that keeps us watching, as well as laughing along with everything that happens.
Continue reading: The Transporter Refuelled Review
A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman at the centre of it, which means that it's entertaining even if it's rather pointless. With an Asian chop-socky style, it feels like it could have been based on a Japanese graphic novel. And with its limited one-room setting, it seems like it might be adapted from a stage play. But no, this is an original screenplay that cleverly mimics those (and more) styles.
It stars Salma Hayek as Everly, a woman who has been held for four years in a single room, forced to work as a prostitute. And today she has snapped, killing her captors before realising that getting out of the building won't be quite that easy. Worried about her mother and young daughter (Laura Cepeda and Aisha Aymah), Everly tries to make a deal with the big boss Taiko (Hiroyuki Watanabe), who merely sends a series of vicious goons culminating in The Sadist (Togo Igawa). Eventually Everly's mother and daughter turn up, so now she has to try to keep them out of harm's way as well.
There are only brief respites from the carnage as this movie powers through a series of jaw-droppingly violent fight sequences that are as messy and witty as anything Tarantino has dreamed up. And the filmmakers play up the absurdity, using a soundtrack that's packed with Christmas carols as Everly dispatches one attacker after another.
Continue reading: Everly Review
Frank Martin is well known in the criminal underworld as an expert driver and deliveryman. He has been working with some of the world's most serious crooks, delivering goods and occasionally getting involved in hostage situations for a very high but very fair price. He works under just three rules: never change the deal, no names and never open the package. But now he is being enlisted for a different kind of job; when a set of disguised females get into his car, he's confused about the lack of the usual package. But he soon discovers that his own father has been taken hostage this time, and Frank can only get him freed if he helps overthrow a set of dangerous human traffickers from Russia. This is more involved than he ever wanted to get, and it looks like he'll have to pay a dear price for his family this time.
Continue: The Transporter Refuelled Trailer
Everly is a skilled female assassin for her ruthless ex boyfriend Taiko's mob, but finds herself cornered and injured in her apartment, seemingly with nowhere left to run. Her ex will stop at nothing to have her killed after what he sees as a monstrous betrayal on her part, and sends a team of his best hitmen to finish the job for him. Holding one man hostage, Everly is determined to escape her apartment with a bag full of dirty money and find her mother so they can start over their lives with no worries. Arming herself with her best firearms, she prepares for the onslaught and winds up fighting some of her best girlfriends who are still working for Taiko. Alive and undefeated, Everly prepares for what's next and a surprised Taiko attempts to amp up the stakes.
Continue: Everly Trailer
Charly (Reno) retired from his job as a Marseilles mob boss to spend time with his family. But someone has it in for him, and after he survives being shot 22 times, Charly and a cop (Fois) start looking for who did it. Charly immediately turns to the other local bosses (Merad and Berry), childhood friends with whom he took a vow of loyalty. But soon all-out war breaks out between thugs on various sides, and the division of loyalty isn't as clear-cut as it should be.
Continue reading: 22 Bullets [l'immortel] Review
After living a life of crime, Charly Mattei decides to leave his past behind him and devote his family. It's been over three years since his last offence and as far as Charly is concerned his previous bad ways are far behind him. All is set to change when a previous friend leave Charly for dead with 22 bullets in his body.
Continue: 22 Bullets Trailer
Gabriella Wright - Sunday 16th May 2010 at Cannes Film Festival Cannes, France
Date of birth
19th April, 1982
On the same day that Glastonbury welcomed back Margate's adopted sons, The Libertines, Margate itself put on it's very own Leisure Festival as it...
Sheffield's very own all girl group Pretty Fierce are still on a high after the recent release of their debut single - 'Ready For Me'.
Three nights before the end of his current tour Will Varley returned to his home town of Deal to delight a sold out crowd in The Astor Theatre.
With only a few days to go before Portsmouth based songstress and producer WYSE releases her new single, 'Belladonna', we caught up with her to find...
Colorado raised, Glasgow educated and Manchester based Bay Bryan is nothing if not a multi-talented, multi-faceted artist performing as both...
Former Marigolds band member Keelan Cunningham has rediscovered his love of music with his new solo project Keelan X.
Wiltshire singer-songwriter Luke De Sciscio, formally known as Folk Boy, is set to release is latest album - 'The Banquet' via AntiFragile Music on...
Electronic music pioneer and producer Annie Elise says that the release of her first EP - 'Breathe In, Breathe Out' feels "both vulnerable and...
Like James Bond, wilfully anonymous driver Frank Martin is reborn as a new actor without...
A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman...
Frank Martin is well known in the criminal underworld as an expert driver and deliveryman....
Everly is a skilled female assassin for her ruthless ex boyfriend Taiko's mob, but finds...
As violent as this mob thriller is, it also has a terrific sense of its...
After living a life of crime, Charly Mattei decides to leave his past behind him...