A thief with a unique code of professional ethics is double-crossed by his crew and left for dead. Assuming a new disguise and forming an unlikely alliance with a woman on the inside, he looks to hijack the score of the crew's latest heist.
Mei, a young girl whose memory holds a priceless numerical code, finds herself pursued by the Triads, the Russian mob, and corrupt NYC cops. Coming to her aid is an ex-cage fighter whose life was destroyed by the gangsters on Mei's trail.
Homeless and on the run from a military court martial, a damaged ex-special forces soldier navigating London's criminal underworld seizes an opportunity to assume another man's identity -- transforming into an avenging angel in the process.
When his mentor is taken captive by a disgraced Arab sheik, a killer-for-hire is forced into action. His mission: kill three members of Britain's elite Special Air Service responsible for the death of his son.
Frank Martin puts the driving gloves on to deliver Valentina, the kidnapped daughter of a Ukranian government official, from Marseilles to Odessa on the Black Sea. En route, he has to contend with thugs who want to intercept Valentina's safe delivery and not let his personal feelings get in the way of his dangerous objective.
Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory.
Parker is a thief who has an unusual code. He doesn't steal from the poor and hurt innocent people. He is asked to join 4 other guys on a job. They pull it off flawlessly. They tell Parker that what they got can help them set up another job which will net them much more. But Parker doesn't want to join them and asks for his share. But they need it all so they try to kill him. They dispose of his body but someone finds him and he is still alive and takes him to the hospital. After recovering he sets out to get back at the ones who tried to kill him, another one of his codes. Despite being told that they are working for a known mobster which he was not aware of, he still wants to go after them. He learns where they are and poses as a wealthy Texan looking to buy a house. So he hires a real estate agent, Leslie Rogers to show him around. He is actually trying to find out where they're holed up. And when he finds it, he sets out on his plan to get them. But when they learn he is alive, ... Written by
The first Parker film since author Donald E. Westlake's death in 2008. Westlake is credited under his famous pseudonym Richard Stark, which he wrote all of the Parker novels under. See more »
(at around 50 mins) As Jennifer drives, the camera tow car are reflected in the buildings she passes. See more »
[after Leslie buys a large cup of coffee]
Hey, you have a cupholder in your car, or you just keep that between your legs?
Well, it's large and black, Jake. Where do you think I like it?
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As a fan of Donald Westlake's writing -- he did the Parker books under the pseudonym of Richard Stark -- I have long been bemused by the inability of film makers to adapt his work for the screen. Westlake wrote for the screen himself, and the Parker books are nothing but action and plot. Yes, there's character, but you figure it out from what Parker and his associates do.
With this, the fourth attempt to film a Parker novel, the film makers have found a practical if surprising choice for the title role. Jason Statham is not an actor of great oratorical powers, but he is a great physical actor, and he moves constantly like an angry tiger in a cage. The choice of a caper which is set largely in Palm Beach, with its artificial, pointless display of wealth and no other reason for existence is the perfect backdrop for the ferocity of Parker in his battle with Michael Chiklis' Melander; Jennifer Lopez' clueless Leslie, who gets caught up without understanding what is going on, gives the audience a good point of view.
Director Taylor Hackford is not a great director, but he is a highly competent one. Sixty years ago he would have been a major director for a studio, setting and working in the house style. Give him a story he can work with and he will hit all the notes, efficiently and effectively, and he has done so here. If the Parker of this movie is different from the Parker of the books, a bit more philosophical (although it comes down, in the end, to the tigerish "Do what I tell you and I will devour you last") we need to remember that a movie is not a book. This is not Donald Westlake's Parker, nor even the Parker I see when I read the books. However, it's still a very good one and worth your attention.
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