Critics Consensus: From Paris With Love Is Not Bon
Plus, critics stamp "return to sender" on Dear John.
It's been a while since a good cop-buddy action flick has hit screens, a situation that critics say From Paris With Love does little to alleviate. Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars as a low-level CIA agent who's thrilled to be assigned to a career-making case; too bad his new partner (John Travolta) is a trigger-happy wild man. Together, they must thwart a terrorist attack on Paris -- one that's targeting our heroes as well. The pundits say Paris benefits from Travolta's gleefully over-the-top performance, but overall the film doesn't quite find a balance between its laughs and thrills. (Check out our Total Recall countdown of Travolta's best-reviewed movies.)
If you're in the mood for a tearjerker -- or, perhaps a tear-yanker -- any movie adapted from a Nicolas Sparks novel will probably do the job (The Notebook and A Walk to Remember are based on his books). But critics say Dear John is overly sappy and melodramatic even by weepie standards. Amanda Seyfried stars as a college student who meets a soldier (played by Channing Tatum) while he's on temporary leave - over the next few years, their love blooms via snail mail, before tragedy strikes. The pundits say Dear John is schmaltzy, overly manipulative, and generally dull, though the leads are appealing.
Also opening this week in limited release:
- The Israeli import Ajami, about multi-ethnic tension in the wake of a revenge killing, is at 93 percent.
- Terribly Happy, a Danish drama about a onetime big-city cop who gets tied up in small town affairs, is at 89 percent.
- Eyes Wide Open, the tale of a married Orthodox Jew who gets involved with a younger man, is at 75 percent.
- District 13: Ultimatum, the sequel to the movie that popularized the parkour craze, is at 64 percent.
- The Red Riding Trilogy, a dark made-for-British-TV thriller about the hunt for a serial killer, is at 56 percent.
- Frozen, a horror flick about three friends trapped on a ski lift, is at 38 percent.