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Generic action flick has high body count, predictable plot.
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On the advice of his girlfriend's father, Parker (Statham) reluctantly agrees to lead an unfamiliar crew of five on a heist at the Ohio State Fair. During the job, one of the men makes an error which results in a fair-goers death. While driving away, Melander (Chiklis) tries to convince Parker to take part in a $50 million Palm Beach diamond heist. When Parker refuses, he is shot and left for dead but a passing family discover him and take him to a hospital. As the cops arrive, Parker escapes from the hospital and sets out to find the men who double-crossed him. In Palm Beach, he reluctantly enlists the aid of local estate agent Leslie (Lopez). In spite of his pun-friendly surname, Taylor Hackford is a respected film-maker, so much so that he's the current president of the Director's Guild of America. I think we were all shocked upon learning that Statham would be working with the man who gave us such award-friendly fare as 'Ray' and 'An Officer & a Gentleman'. Could the action star be entering a new, more serious, stage in his career? After all, the title of his latest film features two syllables; that's one more than most of his movies. Usually he appears in films with mono-syllabic names like 'Crank', 'Safe', and 'Blitz'. 'Thump', 'Crush', and 'Stomp' can only be around the corner. Hackford starts things off nicely with a well constructed fairground heist. It all goes to hell as soon as Lopez turns up though. The marketing for the film seems to push some imaginary sexual tension between the two leads which never actually materializes in the film itself. Early on we learn that Statham is totally committed to his girlfriend so this ruins any chance of a romantic sub-plot. (Come to think of it, if my girlfriend was Nick Nolte's daughter I wouldn't mess her around either). Lopez' arrival brings a comic element which fits awkwardly with the gritty tone of the film's opening act. The movie starts off like a tough seventies style thriller and ends up resembling something Eddie Murphy might have appeared in during the eighties. Most of the comedy is unintentional though, with the biggest laugh being Lopez' discovery that Statham is English (nobody else was fooled by his terrible Texan accent). I'll end this review with a quick tip for car thieves: get to Ohio! If this film is to be believed, nobody there ever locks their cars.
- moviewaffle, Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The king of B action movies, Jason Statham, returns for yet another revenge picture, but this time with a focus of a heist set up, and a poorly conceived subplot involving Jlo. Unfortunately for Parker, this is one of the lesser Statham films, with an un-involving, uninteresting plot, lackluster execution and action, and a very "going through the motions" feel. The primary problem with Parker is the script, which is a mess. Had the film had one set focus, such as the typical Jason Statham revenge plot, it might have worked. Instead, Parker adds in too many elements that don't work. The entire subplot involving Jennifer Lopez feels very out of tune with the rest of the film, and distracts from the larger plot. The villain characters are never interesting or particularly menacing, seeming more aloof than anything. The main plot is familiar and generic. To make matters worse, the film is filled with stilted dialogue, with no real charm to it. The performances, besides Statham's traditional one-note character, are resoundingly bad. This is especially true of Jennifer Lopez, who feels awkwardly cast in her role, and doesn't seem to fit what characterization there is. To be sure, the script doesn't give them much to work with, but with a strong supporting cast including Wendell Pierce and Nick Nolte, one would expect a much more involving, display. A misfire all around. 2/5 Stars
- fb704730572, Sunday, May 26, 2013
Aiming Point Blank at Payback, Jason Statham's clunky latest just can?t manage to take the excitement factor out of park. Squint. Kick. Repeat. In knuckle-dragging blunt-force actioners like Transporter, Crank, and the ensemble Expendables, this has proven to be the Stath's formula for success. Here, however, he's working from a script based on a book by the late great Donald E. Westlake, who's hard-charging literary creation Parker - though a nefarious underworld figure like the actor's other parts - demands a more high-minded, well, kick. The character and source novel Flashfire kinda sorta gets this treatment with Parker, but the adaptation's unfortunately kept firmly in Statham's wheelhouse. Well, at least his formula?s now: Think. Squint. Kick. Repeat. In this R-rated crime-thriller, a thief with a unique code of ethics (Statham) gets left for dead by a crew, so he assumes a new identity and forms an unlikely alliance with an insider (Lopez) to hijack the double-crossers? latest heist. The flick's not a dumbing down of Westlake so much as a dressing down of Statham's lunk-headed on-screen persona. Still, whatever happened to the more capable actor who handled grit, spot, and wit so well in Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch? Squint. Kick. Repeat. That's what. Granted, Burt Reynolds managed the same career with a stock of chewing gum and a muscle car but at least he gave off sparks with his co-stars. Jennifer Lopez still holds some Out of Sight-style potential but the chemistry barely sizzles even under Taylor Hackford?s very capable direction. Bottom line: The blank job.
- jeffboam, Tuesday, February 5, 2013