A Walk in the Woods Ed Skrein

Some Movies to See this Weekend, September 4, 2015

Friday, September 04, 2015 Rob Samuelson

The summer movie season comes to an end for all intents and purposes this weekend. It's been a great one. Don't let anyone tell you a summer that included Mad Max: Fury Road, Inside Out, and Creep was bad. I haven't even gotten to Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation yet, but I've heard that's excellent, too. Long story short, Hollywood has had a strong summer, and I'll be sad to see it go. This weekend has a couple new releases, one of the sequel-remake-reboot variety we're so used to for summer movies, and the other of the counter-programming variety that has done very well these last few months. Let's take a look.

The Transporter: Refueled
Director: Camille Delamarre
Writers: Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Luc Besson
Starring: Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Loan Chabanol

After three slick, enjoyable larks as professional getaway driver Frank Martin, Jason Statham decided he was done with the Transporter series. So producers made a TV show out of the premise – it certainly has that Incredible Hulk-MacGyver retro, repeatable quality to it – which appears to be done after two seasons. That's a long way to say that Ed Skrein, who was the first actor to play Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones, is now the third actor to put on the driving gloves.

Skrein's got more of a pop star look than Statham – he'd be right at home in a movie about the Pet Shop Boys' '80s scene – but he can play reluctantly heroic. Based on the trailer, it looks like he can put up his dukes, too. There's a simple formula to these pictures, so it is unlikely Refueled will diverge much, or at all, from it. What matters is whether Skrein can put some heroic stoicism into the tale of a guy who's really good at driving, and whether the action and 'splosions are not too similar to the ones that happened earlier in the series.

A Walk in the Woods
Director: Ken Kwapis
Writers: Rick Kerb, Bill Holderman
Starring: Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Emma Thompson

A couple of elderly friends (Redford and Nolte) reunite after spending decades apart. Their choice of bonding? Hiking the Appalachian Trail, all 2,200 miles of it along the eastern states. The tone appears to be more whimsical than full-on character drama, which is nice to see from these two grizzled pieces of anthropomorphic leather.

Redford returns home after decades of living in England and decides to live a little since so many people he knows are dying and, as displayed in the trailer, he is bad at etiquette at those things. So he calls up a bunch of old friends to go on an adventure with him on the trail. Everyone but the gruff Nolte turns him down. So these two old men agree to bury whatever hatchets they have from their past and get to being cranky. Every story beat is probably obvious and predictable from the word go, but if these veteran actors are charming (they are), it can be a worthwhile moviegoing experience.

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