Oh boy, this is an odd mix. Is it honorable that he tried to do something different? Yeah. Unfortunately, this is a largely unremarkable thriller, and rather typical of Statham's recent output.
Based on one of the Richard Stark (Donald E. Westlake) "Parker" novels, we get a typical story of a thief who is betrayed and left for dead following a heist, recovers, then decides to go out for revenge.
This is as typical as it gets. At least it avoids having Statham hook up with Lopez. That was a nice touch. It's just a shame that the film is so uneven, especially with the tone. I appreciate a bit of humor with my action, but it doesn't really seem to gel that well here. Though, to her credit, Lopez is tolerable, and did sometimes get me to legitimately smile.
I was also surprised, in a good way, by the level of violence here. I mean yeah, I knew it was to be rated R, but it was more graphic and brutal at times than I was expecting...and I'm actually okay with that.
The film is watchable, and is pretty slick, and all that, but it feels far longer than it should be, and just kind of coasts along. Statham is fine, though pretty much doing more of what he always does. Like I said, Lopez is kinda funny, but it sticks out in a bad way. Chiklis is okay, but underused. Heck, all the main thugs are, which sucks considering that two of them are played by Clifton Collins, Jr. and Wendell Pierce. It also sucks that they wasted Bobby Cannavale.
All in all, this isn't a totally terrible film, but it is unfortunately just a routine and rather ho-hum thriller. See it if you want, but it's totally fine if you don't.
"Parker" is the latest Jason Statham action movie, that is pretty much like the rest of his action movies. It has a simple plot, good fight scenes, and over the top, yet watchable acting. Only this time, it has Jennifer Lopez added to the mix. Statham stars as Parker, a thief who robs the Ohio State Fair with a group of guys he's never dealt with. Things go bad when they refuse to give him his share of the money, and they end up leaving him for dead. But, he isn't dead and tracks them down to Florida for revenge. He meets up with a real estate agent played by Lopez, and gets her to help him out. Lopez does OK, but really her role could have been played by anyone and it wouldn't have mattered. Michael Chiklis is the main bad guy, and he is much better suited for TV. Something about him just doesn't work in movies like it does for his television roles. He tries to be serious, but it ends up coming off like he is "hamming" it up. Statham, well he is the same as he is in all his movie, pretty much a badass. Fans of his or action movies in general will probably like this. But, just know if you've seen one Statham action movie, you've seem 'em all pretty much, so don't expect much different here.
Very good movie! "Parker" is a thriller made for the thrilling action movies fans and specially, for Jason Statham's fans. It is an enjoyable thriller full of action and violence. The acting was good, the sequences well made and the plot delivery surrounding the robbery was very believable unlike what we see in many similar films. The director Taylor Hackford has done a very good job because the movie amused movie during its entire length. Although the end is quite predictable, the movie contains some interesting twists. The cast is focused on both Jason and JLo. The other actors simply did a fine job. In conclusion, this is a very recommendable movie, specially when you just feel like action, entertainment, a nice city to watch and attractive people like Jason Statham and JLo. Do not expect anything very profound!
Parker is a thief who has an unusual code. He doesn't steal from the poor and hurt innocent people. He is asked to join 4 other guys one of whom is related to a known mobster. They pull off the job flawlessly and Parker wants to part ways with them. But because he refused to join them for another job they try to kill him. They dispose of his body but someone finds him and he is still alive and takes him to the hospital. After recovering he sets out to get back at the ones who tried to kill him, another one of his codes. He learns where they are and poses as a wealthy Texan looking to buy a house. So he hires a Realtor, Leslie Rogers to show him around. He is actually trying to find out where they're holed up. And when he finds it, he sets out on his plan to get them. But when they learn he is alive, they contact the mobster to take care of him. So he sends a killer to take care of him.
So the plots to this adaptation and 'Payback/The Hunter' are virtually the same! 'Parker' is betrayed by a gang, shot and left for dead. He then proceeds to spend the entire film going after those who betrayed him. The problem here is the whole film is spread out with absolutely nothing of interest merely to see 'Parker' get revenge at the end. The film only had to be about 30min long and that would sufficed.
The cast is a terrible mistake, every one. Statham is not the guy you want for a supposedly dark noir crime thriller (according to the original source), his presence merely lowers this films intelligence levels and gives everyone the wrong impression before seeing it. You know most people will be expecting a martial arts filled 'Expendables' type flick.
The bad guys don't seem very bad at all, I mean they are not nice but they're hardly hardened criminals. Chiklis as the leader isn't threatening ever, I dunno why but he just looks like he's gonna burst out into slapstick. Another guy looks like a young Jon Cryer which isn't too good and Clifton Collins Jr. who is normally good for a violent nutter is very quiet.
Then we have the car crash that is Lopez, dear lord how does this woman find work in Hollywood?!. She can't act, she's no good in a thriller like this and constantly ruins scenes, she looks like your typical wrinkled, bony, middle aged rich LA residing female with heaps of makeup and hairspray plastered on and all she does in this film is whine. It amuses me when these mega rich stars portray working class characters that are down on their luck, because they have no idea what its like to be in that situation.
Its all very slick and glitzy with the glamorous Florida locations, fancy cars and huge mansions set against a sunkissed sky, you'd think it was a Bond flick. But none of this really seems to fit together well, it all feels bog standard and tired, amazingly generic, even the films poster is drab and uninspiring.
A very mundane below par action film bottom line, no different from many other Statham efforts that have gone directly to DVD, did not pass go and did not collect $200. The whole thing is so utterly pointless, unoriginal and unexciting because apart from the very start and the very end there is nothing happening. 'Parker' simply wonders around breaking in here and there and stealing cars whilst all the while looking highly obvious while he does it.
OK, so I won't bother with a synopsis here, or a critique of this pretty flimsy storyline, or discuss how Statham and Lopez have absolutely no chemistry, or even touch on Statham's horrid Texas accent, because in all actuality, nobody reading this cares; when a majority of audiences (men primarily) probably paid top box office prices for the sole purpose of catching the shot of Lopez's butt, which had been teased in the trailer. In fact, in the theater where I saw "Parker", soon after the scene in question (which occurs about an hour in) and this is no joke, there was a mass exodus consisting of male audience members, who undoubtedly saw what they came to see and were satisfied enough to go home without any interest in watching Statham do one of his Statham-esque, shoot everybody in the room more times than necessary, endings. So let's talk about that for a second: the rather gratuitous butt scene only lasts for all of a second, in a long shot no less (meaning, from pretty far away). So while you do see her butt in some polka dot underwear, the consensus has to be that if you were one of those who paid 10+ dollars to see this scene in particular, you may come out of "Parker" feeling more than a little cheated...and probably ashamed.
Final Thought: If this is the type of movie that Jennifer Lopez is reduced to starring in, then it is no surprise that when recently confronted by Latin periodicals as to her level of interest in playing Jenni Rivera in the sure to be forthcoming biopic, her answer was resoundingly positive. I'm sorry to break this to all of the J Lo fans out there, but the simple truth is, at this juncture of her life, it would seem that she simply can't afford to turn down ANY ROLE presented to her.
Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus
"Parker" proves the old adage that any movie wherein Jason Statham wearing a cowboy hat cannot be all bad. And Statham does carry the day playing the eponymous thief with a unique code of honor, meant to guard against both stupidity and greed, both of which can be deadly in his line of work. But just as there is a pretty good supporting cast on hand; Wendell Pierce gets to do too little and Jennifer Lopez way too much. That's not to mention how much the movie could have been tighter, like eliminating some of the slack from the middle sections.
In spite of his pun-friendly surname, Taylor Hackford is a respected film-maker, so much so that he's the current president of the Director's Guild of America. I think we were all shocked upon learning that Statham would be working with the man who gave us such award-friendly fare as 'Ray' and 'An Officer & a Gentleman'. Could the action star be entering a new, more serious, stage in his career? After all, the title of his latest film features two syllables; that's one more than most of his movies. Usually he appears in films with mono-syllabic names like 'Crank', 'Safe', and 'Blitz'. 'Thump', 'Crush', and 'Stomp' can only be around the corner.
Hackford starts things off nicely with a well constructed fairground heist. It all goes to hell as soon as Lopez turns up though. The marketing for the film seems to push some imaginary sexual tension between the two leads which never actually materializes in the film itself. Early on we learn that Statham is totally committed to his girlfriend so this ruins any chance of a romantic sub-plot. (Come to think of it, if my girlfriend was Nick Nolte's daughter I wouldn't mess her around either). Lopez' arrival brings a comic element which fits awkwardly with the gritty tone of the film's opening act. The movie starts off like a tough seventies style thriller and ends up resembling something Eddie Murphy might have appeared in during the eighties. Most of the comedy is unintentional though, with the biggest laugh being Lopez' discovery that Statham is English (nobody else was fooled by his terrible Texan accent).
I'll end this review with a quick tip for car thieves: get to Ohio! If this film is to be believed, nobody there ever locks their cars.
The primary problem with Parker is the script, which is a mess. Had the film had one set focus, such as the typical Jason Statham revenge plot, it might have worked. Instead, Parker adds in too many elements that don't work. The entire subplot involving Jennifer Lopez feels very out of tune with the rest of the film, and distracts from the larger plot. The villain characters are never interesting or particularly menacing, seeming more aloof than anything. The main plot is familiar and generic. To make matters worse, the film is filled with stilted dialogue, with no real charm to it.
The performances, besides Statham's traditional one-note character, are resoundingly bad. This is especially true of Jennifer Lopez, who feels awkwardly cast in her role, and doesn't seem to fit what characterization there is. To be sure, the script doesn't give them much to work with, but with a strong supporting cast including Wendell Pierce and Nick Nolte, one would expect a much more involving, display.
A misfire all around.
In this R-rated crime-thriller, a thief with a unique code of ethics (Statham) gets left for dead by a crew, so he assumes a new identity and forms an unlikely alliance with an insider (Lopez) to hijack the double-crossers? latest heist.
The flick's not a dumbing down of Westlake so much as a dressing down of Statham's lunk-headed on-screen persona. Still, whatever happened to the more capable actor who handled grit, spot, and wit so well in Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch? Squint. Kick. Repeat. That's what. Granted, Burt Reynolds managed the same career with a stock of chewing gum and a muscle car but at least he gave off sparks with his co-stars. Jennifer Lopez still holds some Out of Sight-style potential but the chemistry barely sizzles even under Taylor Hackford?s very capable direction.
Bottom line: The blank job.