SYNOPSIS: Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez team up to get their cut in the crime thriller, PARKER, based on the series of bestselling novels by Donald E. Westlake.
Parker (Jason Statham) is a professional thief who lives by a personal code of ethics: Don’t steal from people who can’t afford it and don’t hurt people who don’t deserve it. But on his latest heist, his crew double crosses him, steals his stash, and leaves him for dead.
Determined to make sure they regret it, Parker tracks them to PalmBeach, playground of the rich and famous, where the crew is planning their biggest heist ever. Donning the disguise of a rich Texan, Parker takes on an unlikely partner, Leslie (Jennifer Lopez), a savvy insider, who’s short on cash, but big on looks, smarts and ambition. Together, they devise a plan to hijack the score, take everyone down and get away clean.
REVIEW: Director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman) takes the helm on this one and brings us this latest Parker story, based on Donald E. Westlake’s novel Flashfire. This insanely bloody and bullet-filled adaptation puts Parker, played by Jason Statham, as a cool-headed and cold-blooded thief with a big axe to grind, when his “big score” with a new band of robbers goes haywire. His world, it seems, has become a mission of revenge. Westlake’s primary character, it seems is a career criminal who over the course of 24 novels, gets caught up in a number of heists jobs-gone-bad, double crossings and back-stabbings. The character uses his wits to stay a step ahead of those pursuing him, while overcoming his biggest rivals, for the most part. And as it turns out in this story and others, it seems that his mission is really all about revenge, more than thievery.
It seemed a bit disappointing when the flick dragged on senselessly, after the first twenty minutes following a huge action opening sequence. I mean, it just appeared as though Hackford and company just stitched together a collection of scenes that didn’t add much substance to the plot and merely moved the story along blandly and not nearly smooth enough. That was somewhat of a huge let down, considering how good the opening scenes were. However, and I do emphasize “However” Jennifer Lopez shows up as the down-on-her-luck Leslie Rodgers, a real estate agent who gets involved with the criminal-minded Parker character and forced to do her own moral math. JLo, as we’ve all come to affectionately know her, appeared in quite a number of super-fine, figure-hugging skirts before shedding them to flaunt her bikini-bod for the cameras. Having said this, she certainly did not need to make such a “flesh-sposed” splash appearance to be a center-piece of this movie. She simply nailed her role spectacularly in my opinion and single-handedly carried the movie on her back through the remaining two-thirds. I can’t remember the last time she was so convincing in any role that showed her ability to bring the sadness, comedy and sexiness to any single character. She simply showed that she’s not just another sexy actress/singer, but she has many sides to her craft.
Though he did a great job in the flick, Nick Nolte appeared bloated as though he is suffering from some major illness in real life and appeared ravaged beyond repair. He only showed up in a few scenes. I thought Michael Chiklis and Wendell Pierce as bad guys, with Bobby Cannavale as a kind of dumb cop, were great additions to the story line and really added some depth.
Overall, the movie was quite a nice caper flick with loads of Statham-esque action and drama. The role of the love interest was quite a nice twist to the standard boy meets girl, fall in love and lives happily ever after. I thought that part of the flick was a nicely added to the plot. The movie was pretty much what one would expect of a Jason Statham flick and deserves three and a half out of five stars for straightforward action entertainment.
By Movi-Man Stan
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