Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
It's been a pretty good movie week for me my friends.  A terrible week for the genre, but a pretty good week for me nonetheless.  In the past few days I've seen Tom Cruise in 'Jack Reacher' which I thought was very good, Schwarzenegger in 'The Last Stand' which was also very entertaining, Stallone in 'Bullet to the Head' which was probably the most entertaining of these movies I've seen, though Jack Reacher is a better 'movie' so to speak, and now we have Statham in 'Parker', probably the weakest of the bunch.  Jason Statham playing a small badass who doesn't shave and kicks much ass.  Who knew he could do that?  But while I had a good time watching these movies, most of you out there avoided them.  And you can hear a pin drop as the genre dies a sad and lonely death.

Parker (Statham) is a man of honor.  Yeah, he's a murdering thief but he'll only murder you if you cross him and doesn't steal from anybody who can't afford to be stolen from.  I guess he's freaking Robin Hood.  On this particular day Parker has pulled off a major heist with some scurrilous types and so impressed they were with Parker's skills, Melander (Michael Chiklis), the leader of this crew, asks Parker to help them out on their next gig.  Parker politely refuses.  Apparently the answer of 'no' was not an option with these cats, and the next thing you know Parker is filled with bullet holes, tossed out on the freeway from speeding SUV and dumped in swamp.  He's dead.  AS IF!

You're average cat dragged down a freeway while filled with bullet holes would be down for a minute or two, but Parker quickly rights himself and gets prepared to serve up a cold dish of revenge.  Problem is that the people he has sworn vengeance against are kind of connected, and Parker isn't really a stealth kind of guy so everybody knows its Parker causing trouble.  This leads to them trying to kill Parker's people, like his girlfriend Claire (Emma Booth) or his future father in law and thief handler Hurley (Nick Nolte).  The bad guys fail at this, but this only makes Parker even madder. 
Back to the FCU
Let Chris know how Wrong He Is
Don't Be Square...
Like Totally Twisted Flix!

Parker needs to bust up whatever the crew that turned on him has going down, which leads him to sunny Palm Beach Florida.  There he meets struggling Real Estate agent Leslie Rogers as played by Jennifer Lopez.  I hate to get sidetracked… not really… but Good Lord is Jennifer Lopez good looking.  Every time I see this woman she seems to get better looking.  Me and Jennifer are like exactly the same age, her being one day older than me, but yet I'm not a beautiful 43 year old man, and that makes me sad.  Anyway, Leslie will act as Parker's guide around Palm Beach, and eventually his partner in a way.  Leslie, beauty aside, is also one of the dumber characters in action movie history. 

The plan for the evil crew is to steal a bunch of diamonds.  The plan for Parker is to take these diamonds from them, then kill them.  The only thing that could mess up Parker's fine plan is a distressed damsel, and how this damsel becomes distressed almost dooms this entire movie.  Murder, mayhem and Statham doing that thing he does shall ensue. 

'Parker' is a Jason Statham movie, right?  You wake up in the morning and see Jason Statham in a movie and you know, with almost 100% certainty, what you are going to get.  He's like a Twinkie or a Big Mac.  The stories are generally all the same, with the only thing changing are his co-stars and his directors.  Today's co-stars are pretty darned good with Chiklis and Clifton Collins Jr. looking completely oppressive as bad guys, Nick Nolte perfecting the old and grizzled look and Jennifer Lopez looking beautiful.  Today's director is Taylor Hackford who certainly knows how to navigate his way through controlled chaos such as this.  With these solid elements in place, we have a completely competent, well crafted, marginally enjoyable, if not a completely forgettable waste of time. 

The problem with this perfunctory waste of time is that I think it was supposed be so much more.  Based on the Westlake pulp fiction novels and with a fairly impressive cast of characters, I'm thinking we were supposed to get a pulpy, tough, stylish kind of modern noir crime epic.  Most everybody in this movie fit the part for this kind of thing, Chiklis as the oppressive bad guy, Lopez as the forlorn damsel who only in a world such as this could be pining away lonely in her mother's house, Nick Nolte as the grizzled, wise old dude and a director who certainly has the style to bring something like this home .  But the minute Jason Statham signed on the dotted line, 'Parker' becomes a Jason Statham movie.  Is this a bad thing?  Not necessarily, it's just more of the same old thing, that's all.  Bobby Cannavale is in this movie in a throwaway role as a cop, but for suppositions sake, imagine if he played Parker?  Certainly not a bigger star than Statham but a better actor, and he kind of fits the role better.  He probably couldn't pull of that knife fight in the hotel room like Statham could, which was awesome by the way, but then the movie wouldn't need that because it's no longer a Jason Statham movie.  We can keep Jason in the movie, just make him a bad guy.  I know I would think twice before messing with a pair of tiny bad guys that looked like Chiklis and Statham.

All I'm saying is that 'Parker' isn't a bad movie, but it is a Statham movie, and we've kind of seen this before a few times.  Or more. 
Don't Be Square... Like Totally Twisted Flix!
Real Time Web