In John Travolta’s new movie “From Paris With Love,” he plays a Fu Manchu cue ball with heavy artillery hell bent on derailing a planned terrorist attack.
A YouTube description of the movie depicts his character as a daredevil troublemaker:
A low-ranking intelligence operative working in the office of the U.S. Ambassador in France takes on more than he bargained for when he partners with a wisecracking, fast-shooting, high-ranking U.S. agent who’s been sent to Paris to stop a terrorist attack.
So why the strikingly bald look? Is it really necessary for the character?
Over the years, Travolta has played many diverse roles with every kind of hairstyle imaginable, including a bob. This new movie takes the cake. How shocking to see Vinnie Barbarino without a single sheathe of hair on his noggin and what's left on his rugged puss.
I’m not too keen on this blatant attempt to acclimate fans to Travolta's encroaching baldness by exposing them in one fell swoop. Much like ripping off a bandage from a tender patch of skin, yes, it’s over quickly, but oh man, does it hurt!
From my vantage point, the shocking makeover lacks a certain sensitivity to fan expectations. Whatever happened to easing fans in gradually, say by transitioning from his “Taking of Pelham 123” badass look to the more flippant Rip Torn do?
Even the latter look would have been more palatable.