The cinematic dumping ground that is January often contains a few jewels among those with B-list tattoos across their foreheads. Jason Statham gets to add more ink to the top layer of the new year in this misplaced action adaptation by the name of "Parker", a crime film that falls just below it's B-movie status.
Based on the crime novels of Donald Westlake, Parker (Jason Statham) is a thief who realizes that it's better to work alone when a planned robbery of the Ohio State Fair goes awry. Sure, his group gets away with a million dollars, but an innocent dies in the process, something that really ticks off Parker. When the leader (Michael Chiklis) of the motivated, but motley crew gives Parker an offer he cant refuse, well he refuses and gets left on the side of the road with a free bullet for his troubles.
But it takes more than a bullet to keep Parker down. Once healed, he seeks help from his mentor and future father-in-law Hurley (Nick Nolte), who discourages him, but gives in because...well, he's Parker. Before long, he's headed to the Big Easy and then to Miami where he attempts to track down Chiklis and company just as they're planning a heist worth around 80 million. Lucky for him, he gets the help of a struggling real estate agent (Jennifer Lopez), Leslie. It's hard to figure out why she's having a hard time selling houses when she's willing to not only stalk Parker, but drop down to her bra and panties...as long as he lets her in on the big robbery.
Unfortunately, Parker's as interested in J-Lo as we are in her character and not just because he's already spoken for by the ever devoted Claire (Emma Booth). Lopez makes for good eye candy, but that's not enough cinematic nutrition to get us through one scene much less a two hour film. There are a few cool action sequences. After all, this is a Statham film. However, any hopes of this being a decent heist film or even B-list actioner died when director Taylor Hackford (Ray, The Devils Advocate, An Officer and a Gentleman) decided to let Statham channel his inner Clouseau and dress up as a priest and later as a Texas mogul.
Parker had a lot of potential, but none of the subplots or characters were fleshed out enough for an audience to care. That's probably one of the biggest crimes you can pull on an audience.