Davis: Transporter franchise gets a reboot with new lead actor

Critics are again heaping praise on Mistress America calling collaboration a ferociously funny co-written story.

Ed Skrein stars in The Transporter Refueled.

In 2002, the first Transporter movie was released and was a moderate success. The high octane over-the-top action helped make Jason Statham a star portraying the character of Frank Martin, a highly skilled driver who will transport anything with no questions asked. The movie spawned two sequels and a television series (with Chris Vance portraying Martin).

As with many franchises, it is getting a reboot from creator Luc Besson (The Professional, The Fifth Element) called The Transporter Refueled with a whole new cast including Ed Skrein taking over the title role. If you do not know who Skrein is, you are likely not alone as he is a rapper and actor from the U.K., best known for portraying Daario Naharis in the third season of Game of Thrones. His star will likely be on the rise after The Transporter and for playing the villain Ajax early next year in Deadpool.

The Transporter Refueled serves as a prequel to the original movie as former special-ops mercenary Martin is trying to adapt to his new career of transporting classified packages for questionable people. When his father pays him a visit in the south of France, their reunion is interrupted by a bank heist job that takes a turn for the worst and he ends up on the run from a Russian crime kingpin.

Based upon the memoir by Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods stars Robert Redford as a celebrated travel writer who, instead of retiring and spending more time with his wife (Emma Thompson) and his family, challenges himself to hike the entire 2200 miles of the Appalachian Trail.

The peace and tranquility he hopes to find in the unspoiled and spectacular countryside is anything but when he agrees to being accompanied by his estranged friend (Nick Nolte). His former friend is a down-on-his-luck serial philanderer who, after a lifetime of relying on his charm and wits to keep one step ahead of the law, sees the trip as a way to sneak out of paying some debts and have one last adventure before it is too late.

A Walk in the Woods also stars Kristen Schaal, Nick Offerman and Mary Steenburgen and is directed by Ken Kwapis, whose last film was well received Big Miracle.

Writer-director Noah Baumbach is not a household name but he has been involved with numerous critically acclaimed movies including The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Greenberg, Frances Ha and most recently, While We’re Young. His latest is a comedy called Mistress America starring Golden Globe nominee and co-writer Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha, Arthur) as Brooke, an adventurous New Yorker who takes in her soon-to-be stepsister Tracy (newcomer Lola Kirke), a lonely college freshman who is not having the exciting life she envisioned in the Big Apple.

Brooke rescues Tracy from her disappointment with a series of screwball adventures in the city, but she gets more than she bargained for. Critics are again heaping praise on Baumbach calling his collaboration with Gerwig a ferociously funny co-written story.