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Review: Parker

Parker
Jan. 24, 2013by:
4 10

PLOT: Parker (Jason Statham) - a master thief, is betrayed by his partners (Michael Chiklis, Clifton Collins Jr., and Wendell Pierce) and left for dead. He survives, and becomes bent on retribution and recovering his share of the loot. He tracks them to Palm Beach, Florida- where a real-estate broker (Jennifer Lopez) becomes embroiled in his deadly scheme.

REVIEW: Jason Statham- starring in a big-screen version of Donald Westlakes series of Parker novels should have been a slam-dunk. The menacing Statham seems ideal in a role previously played by actors like Lee Marvin, Mel Gibson, and Robert Duvall, with Taylor Hackford, the director of RAY, THE DEVILS ADVOCATE, and BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT- behind the camera, this should have been a damn solid film. Instead, PARKER takes its place as probably the worst Statham vehicle since his Jet Li team-up movie, WAR.

How did it all go so wrong? Well- rather than stick close to the amoral Parker of the page, Hackford and writer John J. McLaughlin have turned him into yet another Statham anti-hero, virtually indistinguishable from THE TRANSPORTER or his other, less memorable characters. Their Parker has a strict moral code where he never steals from people who cant afford it, and would seemingly sooner die than have an innocent person suffer as a result of his crimes. This is nice, but its not really the vicious Parker that made for such a popular series of books- which begs the question, why bother doing this series if youre going to eliminate what makes him unique? The tagline of PAYBACK, get ready to root for the bad guy was exactly how the audience should feel watching a Parker film. Here- Parkers a true-blue hero to the core, who just happens to be a thief.

All this could be forgiven if PARKER was at least an entertaining Statham actioner- but its incredibly shabby in that department. Being a heist film, way too much time is spent planning a caper thats not the least bit interesting. Statham is charismatic, and a damn good action hero- but hes no master of disguises like Parker is meant to be here, and in the first heist, he looks like the worlds least convincing priest, only to make for an even more ridiculous Texan, complete with a ten-gallon hat later in the movie. His ruse- not to mention the slippery accent he adopts in these scenes is so lame that you wonder if Parker is always this incompetent, and why he isnt behind bars?

Again- this wouldnt be a deal-breaker if there was some good action, but other than a few quick scraps early in the film and few quick gunfights, a huge chunk of the movie goes by where the focus is shifted to Jennifer Lopez goofy real-estate agent, whos trying to make enough money so she can stop living with her stereotypical Latina mother (Patti LuPone). Lopez is actually OK in the part, but she seems to have walked in from another movie- and she clashes badly with Statham. Their chemistry is non-existent (not that Stathams ever really been convincing as a romantic lead)- which is probably why Hackford ditches the idea of a romantic pairing early on. At least she gets to strip down to her lingerie in a nicely gratuitous scene, and its worth saying- J Lo still looks FINE.

Another thing that can be said about Lopez is that she seems to be trying (as does Bobby Cannavale- whos utterly wasted in a couple of short scenes). Everyone else seems to be phoning it in, with Nick Nolte growling all of his nearly indecipherable dialogue in a handful of scenes as Parkers mentor, while Michael Chiklis comes off as much less menacing than he did on the late, great THE SHIELD. Not that you can blame him, as the script is loaded with all the heist gone wrong clichs you can imagine.

However, there is one scene that almost makes PARKER worth watching. After a long action-less lapse, theres a superb mano-a-mano fight (something Stathams films need more of) where he fights former nineties b-action star Daniel Bernhardt in a superb, and ultra-gory brawl thats among the best action scenes Stathams ever been in. If there had been more bits like this, PARKER would have been a classic. Sadly, its a fluke and five minutes of awesome does not make up for another 110 minutes of boredom (at a hair under two hours, it feels endless).

As always, I hate giving Statham a bad review, as hes the one guy in Hollywood who seems totally dedicated to doing lean, mean action flicks- but PARKER is a straight-up dud. Its his worst film in a long-time, and a real missed-opportunity, as given the source material and the talent involved, this should have been a lot of fun.

Source: JoBlo.com

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+0
11:32PM on 01/24/2013
I should have known something was up when I saw they don't even mention J-Lo by name in the commercials.
I should have known something was up when I saw they don't even mention J-Lo by name in the commercials.
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4:34PM on 01/24/2013
Why can't Michael Chiklis catch a break? The guy is awesome and keeps getting stuck in movies like this. I want more from that man.
Why can't Michael Chiklis catch a break? The guy is awesome and keeps getting stuck in movies like this. I want more from that man.
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-5
3:47PM on 01/24/2013
SAFE was his worst movie in a long time!!!! That was garbage! The 80% attended Asian audience clapped at the fricken end! Jesus christ!
Parker was alright, just saw it last night, had a few cool bloody moments, I'm not a Jen Lopez fan but she added nothing to it. At best...maybe a 5.5 or 6 out of 10.
And FYI, LONDON and SNATCH are two of Staham's best performances, he doesn't fight, he is hilarious and he should stick with those sort of films for a while. Seriously people, watch LONDON.
SAFE was his worst movie in a long time!!!! That was garbage! The 80% attended Asian audience clapped at the fricken end! Jesus christ!
Parker was alright, just saw it last night, had a few cool bloody moments, I'm not a Jen Lopez fan but she added nothing to it. At best...maybe a 5.5 or 6 out of 10.
And FYI, LONDON and SNATCH are two of Staham's best performances, he doesn't fight, he is hilarious and he should stick with those sort of films for a while. Seriously people, watch LONDON.
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10:49PM on 01/24/2013
London is one of my all time favs I can watch anytime. Statham goes off on being "an impotent man, muther fucker!" Also, I really enjoyed Revolver. Just cause he doesn't kick ass and blow people away every movie...he's got way more range than people think. That's because most of us Americans don't appreciate and understand British humor. I love it and wish him and Guy would do something all out again.
London is one of my all time favs I can watch anytime. Statham goes off on being "an impotent man, muther fucker!" Also, I really enjoyed Revolver. Just cause he doesn't kick ass and blow people away every movie...he's got way more range than people think. That's because most of us Americans don't appreciate and understand British humor. I love it and wish him and Guy would do something all out again.
3:17PM on 01/24/2013
As soon as I saw that J-lo was in it, I knew it was going to blow chunks big time.
As soon as I saw that J-lo was in it, I knew it was going to blow chunks big time.
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1:36PM on 01/24/2013
Crap, was hoping it'd be a fun rental. I guess I didn't watch enough of the previews on TV; had no idea JLo was in this til just now.
Crap, was hoping it'd be a fun rental. I guess I didn't watch enough of the previews on TV; had no idea JLo was in this til just now.
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12:51PM on 01/24/2013
Crap, was hoping it'd be a fun rental. I guess I didn't watch enough of the previews on TV; had no idea JLo was in this til just now.
Crap, was hoping it'd be a fun rental. I guess I didn't watch enough of the previews on TV; had no idea JLo was in this til just now.
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-10
7:03AM on 01/24/2013
How on earth did he win the face off against the rock.
How on earth did he win the face off against the rock.
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-10
6:16AM on 01/24/2013
How on earth did he win the face off against the rock.
How on earth did he win the face off against the rock.
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6:10AM on 01/24/2013

surprise surprise

Jason Play the same part Statham strikes again!
Jason Play the same part Statham strikes again!
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5:32AM on 01/24/2013

Safe was a great movie, you could tell that this would be crap.

It's no surprise that this was a bad movie, just watch the trailer. I do recommend Safe if you haven't seen it yet, now that was a movie with a bland trailer that turned out to be pretty badass.
It's no surprise that this was a bad movie, just watch the trailer. I do recommend Safe if you haven't seen it yet, now that was a movie with a bland trailer that turned out to be pretty badass.
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6:05AM on 01/24/2013
Safe made very little sense. Was it really necessary for Stratham's character to kill all those people?
Safe made very little sense. Was it really necessary for Stratham's character to kill all those people?
6:14AM on 01/24/2013
Yeah, he killed pretty much everybody except the people responsible for killing his wife. Storywise it was shit but the action was fine!
Yeah, he killed pretty much everybody except the people responsible for killing his wife. Storywise it was shit but the action was fine!
+0
1:25AM on 01/24/2013
Hmm, disappointing. I LOVED Payback and I like Statham. The trailer never really demonstrated anything all that interesting, but for it to be in the same ring as War? Ouch. That was one awful film. Guess I'll be passing on this one. Which is really too bad, because Parker is a great character. Shame they wasted him on such a mediocre film.
Hmm, disappointing. I LOVED Payback and I like Statham. The trailer never really demonstrated anything all that interesting, but for it to be in the same ring as War? Ouch. That was one awful film. Guess I'll be passing on this one. Which is really too bad, because Parker is a great character. Shame they wasted him on such a mediocre film.
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12:34AM on 01/24/2013

This means nothing...

I've had this pegged as more of a Bank Job type film than pure action from the get-go. It has a great cast too and the promotion of it has been lousy imo. It seems the Stath has been working with higher profile people, but just can't seem to knock it out of the park. No matter, I'm loyal to the Stath and will still check it out.

I've had this pegged as more of a Bank Job type film than pure action from the get-go. It has a great cast too and the promotion of it has been lousy imo. It seems the Stath has been working with higher profile people, but just can't seem to knock it out of the park. No matter, I'm loyal to the Stath and will still check it out.

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12:58AM on 01/24/2013
I'll be there too, looks great!
I'll be there too, looks great!
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