If you want a movie to escape the winter doldrums, then Parker certainly works. However, being that this is an addition to the series based on the novels by Donald Westlake, which have included actors Lee Marvin and Mel Gibson, I expected a little more sophistication.
Jason Statham plays a criminal named Parker who operates by a stoic code and hired by a man named Hurley, played by the ever aging Nick Nolte, to be a part of a team to rob the Ohio State Fair. The back story that we learn is that Parker is also involved with Hurleys daughter, Claire, played by Australian actress Emma Booth. Parker is a calm, collective criminal, who operates by a series of codes (I guess that thall shall not steal is not one of them) to bring order to his life. In attempting to calm hostages at the Ohio State Fair, he explains part of his criminal code of ethic is that [he] only steal from those who can afford it and kill those who deserve it as opposed to his overbearing team members. During the getaway Parker is informed by the teams mastermind Melander, played by Michael Chiklis, that proceeds from the robbery was just seed money for a bigger job. However, Parker is not in agreement and wants his $200,000 from the job and is left for dead after a firefight in a Chevy blazer.
Once recovered, Parker is on a mission to get back his proceeds from the robbery at the Ohio State Fair. He begins a manhunt to track down the teams members in order to recover his money which takes him to West Palm Beach, Florida. He crosses path with a desperate failed social climber, Leslie Rodgers, played by curvey Jennifer Lopez. Rodgers is an unsuccessful real estate agent who lives with her high maintenance mother because of her financial dilemma. Rodgers is attracted to Parker looks and views him as a ticket out of her boring life and financial failings, and after doing some detective work herself discovers that Parker is up to no good. Despite of this, Rodgers volunteers to help Parker find Melanders gang for a commission. From there, the movie takes a standard, predictable path to the end.
Not only has Jason Statham been type-casted, but also he appears to continue to play the same character time after time with little variation. Two years ago, Statham stared as Arthur Bishop (Charles Bronson character) in a remake of The Mechanic. This seemed to be a reprise of that role. Statham is definitely an action star but either he is incapable of any type of serious development or directors simply do not care. Parker code of ethic is built up during the film, almost to the status of hero, but it is almost wasted. In The Mechanic, Statham failed to convey Bishops weakness of loneness which eventually lead to his downfall.
I have to admit I was surprised on how well Lopez portrayed her character. Leslies desperation comes across as real. However, I am not sure if her character flaws were based on the script or by the directing. It seems that eventhough Leslie is a sympathetic figure, who has had to endure the bad behavior of her prospective clients including being groped, Leslie still comes across as a greedy gold digger who view the wealthy residents of West Palm Beach with distain. One of the funniest moments in the movie comes when Lopez is order to strip down to her matching underwear by Statham and told to turn around to give the movie audience a view her famous backside a member of the audience shouted badonk. There is nudity in the movie from Emma Booth, who waif figure and nose-stud seem to reflect Statham real life younger girlfriend Victoria Secret Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Unfortunately Booths figure is not match for Lopezs.
David Buckley's soundtrack is okay, but no where near a Hans Zimmer.
I still would recommend this movie for a boring Saturday evening: two-and-half stars. Seeing Lopez in her underwear is worth at least half of the ticket cost.
Next Movie review A Good Day to Die Hard in February and, if I have time, Dead Man Down , in March.
posted on 01/26/2013 8:48:11 AM PST
To: kronos77; mass55th; Perdogg; DollyCali; EveningStar; Borges; Mr. K; Blondie; altura; mylife; ...
posted on 01/26/2013 8:51:40 AM PST
(Mark Levin - It's called the Bill of Rights not Bill of Needs)
Parker is a calm, collective criminal, who operates by a series of codes (I guess that thall shall not steal is not one of them) to bring order to his life. In attempting to calm hostages at the Ohio State Fair, he explains part of his criminal code of ethic is that [he] only steal from those who can afford it and kill those who deserve it
You might have meant to that that Parker is a calm, collected criminal.
However, given that he is not averse to stealing, that he believes in stealing from the rich, that he's willing to kill people who "deserve" it, then perhaps he does fit the description of a Collective criminal.
posted on 01/26/2013 8:58:00 AM PST
(Nothing will change until after the war.)
My wife likes most of Statham’s films, but she said after seeing him on one of the talk shows, she has become disillusioned because he sounds dumber than Sean Penn when he doesn’t have a script.
posted on 01/26/2013 9:25:21 AM PST
(Allies no longer trust us. Enemies no longer fear us.)
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