The weekend brings a lot of things for a lot of different people. It can bring hope, change, fun, rest and relaxation, however it can also bring a fair bit of disappointment. Out in theatres today, lets meet "Parker".
Directed by Taylor Hackford
Parker (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. However 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 Palm Beach, 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 (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.
On paper, "Parker" should have been an easy slam dunk as a type of "Out of Sight"/"The Transporter" mashup, instead we got something a little closer to "Gigli" and "Transporter 2" with an initial setup that was more than a little flimsy bordering on lame the action didn't start out great and at a unnecessary 118 min runtime there were portions of the film that felt tacked on and bloated. Yes it looked great, especially once the action moved to Palm Beach but the story never really found any kind of rhythm. With overlong sequences and dialogue that ranges from clunky to downright laughable, its only during a handful of admittedly well done action sequences that we get to have fun with this story. Most other moments in the film just feel uncomfortable, and it's not helped by some subpar performances that either underwritten, miscast or just uninspired.
As Parker, there really isn't anything with wrong with Jason Statham's performance other then the ill advised Texas accent which I suspect was supposed to be funny. He can certainly carry an action film, and it was nice to see his anti-hero character be a little more human and actually feel the pain of the violence around him but his natural movie star swagger actually felt a little subdued this time out and it felt lacking at times. It's ultimately hard to get behind a movie if you're never quite sure what the intended reaction was supposed to be and so many of the different beats were just too mashed together. Jennifer Lopez as his insider partner looking for a way to get out from under never really clicked and the on screen chemistry between these two beautiful people was just awkward at best. Michael Chiklis and Clifton Collins Jr get saddled with some truly laughable dialogue as our villains, yet we're still supposed to buy them as menacing characters. It just didn't work.
In many ways, "Parker" felt like the kind of film that was so close to hitting the mark, but just ended up so far away that you feel a little sorry for those involved. We all have those moments in our lives, unfortunately this moment was immortalized for all to see and trust me when I tell you that there is no reason for you to do anything but pass on this film and just wait to see what Statham and Lopez have for us next time around.
1 out of 5 stars.
"Parker" is now playing at theatres all across the country; check with your local listings for show times.