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Parker, a.k.a. "Every other Jason Statham film ever...but this time
with a ten gallon". I won't be going in a detailed review, because if
you've seen one Jason Statham flick you've seen every Jason Statham
flick. Don't believe me? Here are some common trends I've noticed
across his other films also present in this one: 1. Obligatory scene
where he runs away from the hospital, minutes after waking up from
being shot, beaten and/or mauled by a bear - check. 2. Semi-anonymous
protagonist that is just a ridiculous badass for no apparent reason -
check. 3. Whatever dubious activities he takes part in are explained to
the viewer as honorable in a "everyone gets dirty" kind of way, because
you know, JS has a code he adheres to and that automatically makes
crime acceptable - check. 4. Women are magnetically compelled to his
junk by his mere presence - check. Fast and fancy cars, because. (No I
didn't forget the rest of the sentence) - check. 5.Walking around
seemingly unfazed with broken appendages, ribs, collar bones, multiple
gunshot wounds, knife stabbing wounds and/or bear mace - check.
All and all it's an okayish film, if you've never seen another Jason Statham flick before, but at this point it's just stupid to keep casting him in the same role, in the same film, over and over. It's obvious he's not a brilliant actor, but he has a lot more to offer than what is currently being churned out. Speaking of acting don't get me started on Jeniffer Lopez - her acting is just wince-inducing. Apparently the director thought the same and cast her in the film as a walking butt to centre shots around in the time Jason is off screen, presumably to make JS' male fans feel less awkward and have an excuse about having an erection throughout the movie, because we all know how unsure of themselves "bros" are.
It's a completely forgettable film you will probably regret paying actual real world money to see, because you will feel like you've seen this film at least 4 other times.
Well, SURE, there are places where you must suspend disbelief (it's not
THAT easy to steal a car, is it?), and SURE there are plot holes, and
SURE there are times when you say to yourself "How did he know to go
there?" BUT...this is one enjoyable movie!
The acting, the action scenes, and the eye candy (Statham for you XXs, and J-Lo for us XYs) are all great. Oh...and a word about J-Lo. While I've never been a great fan, the poor reviews she received made me curious. Well, she was excellent...and hot as a pistol. That woman has more sex appeal than 5 centerfolds. Patti Lupone plays her mom...very well, I might add.
Statham plays Parker and Parker-like characters in an intrinsically believable manner; that is, marginal characters who live on the edge of the law or beyond it (think "The Transporter" series) with an honorable streak. He slips into this part easily, and like his "Transporter" character, Parker seems little interested in sex. No...he has a singular purpose here as he has had in previous movies: get the job done, and no time for recreation. And once again, his singularity of purpose rings true.
There is, of course, violence, but we all have seen worse; my wife only had to look away twice, and she does not enjoy these types of movies, but goes to humor me (I agreed to see that dreadful "Moonrise Kingdom" after all). But she liked "Parker"--her direct quote was "It kept my interest"--and that was high praise for this kind of flick.
And as Tosh might say: "And for that, we thank you."
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.
Many people say the same things about Jason Statham, He's a typecast or
he doesn't do anything different. Which is partly true, but he is good
as an action star and in my opinion hes a better actor than what some
say. I don't think he does get enough credit seeing how he got into
movies almost by accident.
Anyways Parker has a good revenge/crime story its about a professional thief who lives by a simple code, don't steal from people who can't afford it and don't hurt people who don't deserve it. After a successful heist our man is left for dead by his partners. The movie has good action throughout. lots of hand to hand combat, and violent ones at that. It also has a better than usual cast and director for a statham action movie (Good villains + hot leading lady).
Overall, I got what I was expecting for $10 as a fan of Jason Statham and would recommend it for a good popcorn flick.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Robber with morals Parker (Jason Statham), shot and left for dead,
wants only to recover his share and teach people how to behave
properly. Having tracked those who owe him money down to Palm Beach, he
poses as a Texan businessman in order to get a real estate agent to
help him identify the property they may be using as a base. He may not
have reckoned with the real estate agent having her own agenda, and the
crew who owe him money having high powered connections...
This crime caper movie starts off firing on all cylinders. It opens as a robbery gets under way and then stays in full action mode for the best part of an hour. Then Parker arrives in Palm Beach, encounters Jennifer Lopez's hard-up real estate agent, and something really weird happens. You can feel that, at this point, the film badly wants to become a comedy. It never does - it remains a violent, hard boiled crime thriller throughout, but there is always this strong urge for it to be something lighter and frothier whenever Lopez is around.
For all that, I enjoyed it especially given that it didn't always do what I expected it to. It was, as always, a mistake to get Statham to do accents - as well as a generic American accent, he is saddled with having to have a go at a Texan accent, and accordingly he wanders around all over the place - US tough guy, Texas, and (mostly) London, sometimes all in the same sentence. The action sequences are well staged (Statham exhibits powers of recovery on a par with Wolverine's healing factor), with one especially satisfying moment during a fight which produced an audible, "Oof!" from the cinema audience. Good fun, if a little odd in places.
I wanted to like this movie so much, because I really think Jason
Statham has some serious acting skills and he deserves some good
scripts. Also the story is based on a book, so it should have been
Alas, it was not to be. And it has almost nothing to do with J-Lo being in the movie. The characters are bland, illogical in almost everything they do, even Parker, the Statham's character. Worst than that: they are unsympathetic. You have a lot of greedy people, some of them evil, some of them stupid, and apart from them is Parker, who is not greedy, just stupid. He puts everybody at risk for his own principles, he gets beat up and shot a few times and somehow he still walks. It's like Crank, but without anything fun in it.
I have to say I am a fan of Michael Chiklis, from Vegas, but his role was small and two dimensional. One dimensional, really, but I was going with the cardboard metaphor. You wanna know who was the most clear cut character, the one that did the job and was consistent? Daniel Bernhardt in the role of the Mafia killing machine.
So, bottom line: a waste of time and of good actors.
I've read some of Richard Stark (a.k.a. Donald Westlake) 'Parker' books and this movie pretty much captures the essence of the character. This is not Shakespeare folks. The morality is pretty black and white in these books and Taylor Hackford and the screenwriter captures what this character is about very well. The only thing I found awkward in this movie were the flashbacks in the first third -- but that's a screenplay structure issue, not directing issue. Acting-wise, thought everyone did very well with their roles. No, there's not a lot of depth to anyone, except for perhaps Jennifer Lopez's character who makes it clear she's stuck in a dead-end life post-divorce and needs an out. All in all, a very good, entertaining crime thriller. I won't remember this years from now, but it entertained me and kept my attention throughout. And aside from all this, Stratham makes for one good badass! If you like this, definitely check out "The Bank Job" that he starred in: he really shows his acting chops in that one.
Parker (Jason Statham) is a thief with codes to live by. He is left for
dead by his cohorts in crime when he refuses to join them for another
heist. He vows to go after them and get what is his.
Seems that some big stars want to hitch their wagon to a profitable venture such as any Jason Statham movie. Here we have Jennifer Lopez doing that and when I first saw her name associated with this I knew 2-things: She would get a lot of screen time and many, many lines too. Okay, 3-three things: this won't be as good as other Jason Statham movies. I was in cringeville. And, then I watched the movie and was wrong, wrong, wrong. She did good. Who knew?
However, there was a difference with this movie. Most of the time Mr Statham's character goes about his business cutting down the bad guys without any real complication, but in here he meets his match with some bad guys who kind of beat the hell out of him. He still wins, but it's not easy. Some of the fight scenes were too real for me and I had to check myself into the local ER to make sure all was okay. I am fine. Thanks for asking.
Add to the beatings, we have Leslie (Jennifer Lopez) getting in the way of Parker's plan to take out the bad guys. Okay, we knew something like this would happen and we cringed for a bit, but we were pleasantly surprised that she did good. Who knew?
All in all a good action thriller as we would expect from any Jason Statham movie even with a star who hitched her wagon to a profitable venture ..but did good. Who knew? Nick Nolte and Michael Chiklis also star.
Will we see other big stars hitch their wagon to other successful ventures: Matt Damon, Bruce Willis, Arnold (hey, is he back?), Sylvester? Time will tell. We can only hope the scripts will be as good as this one was. Kudos. (7/10)
Violence: Yes. Sex: No. Nudity: Yes, briefly, 2-times.. Language: Yes, not much.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
PARKER (2013) *** Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins, Jr., Bobby Cannavale, Patti LuPone, Carlos Carrasco, Michah Hauptman, Emma Booth. Statham serves well as a revenge seeking crook with a code who is out for vengeance - and his slice of the pie - after a heist of double crosses leaves him for dead. High octane actioner with a swell ensemble and Lopez' best on screen role since "Out Of Sight" as the fly-in- the-ointment real estate agent that comes into Statham's plan-of-action-by default. Directed with gumption by vet Taylor Hackford and John C. McLaughlin's crackerjack adaptation of the late, great pulp fiction scribe Donald E. Weslake's novel "Flashfire" (under the Richard Stark pseudonym).
Of course, similar events - revenge after double-crossing - have been
depicted several times and will definitely be depicted in the future as
well - but it is the direction and choice of actors that counts. As for
Parker, everything is at least okay with those: the director Taylor
Hackford is an accredited creator and names like Jason Statham, Nick
Nolte, Jennifer Lopez are certain signs of quality and non-boredom.
They are pleasant to follow even in less interesting and less veracious
Well, the script is probably the weakest part of the movie: too much predictability, excessive sections (e.g. Parker-Claire, prolonging the duration to almost 2 hour 15 minutes) and trivial ending (unlike in movies by Guy Ritchie, for example).
Nevertheless, Parker is still an above-average A-movie, qualifying well for a sociable entertainment.
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