The story of PARKER is set in the jealousy-inducing flagrant and decadent wealth of Palm Beach, Florida. In the movie Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez join forces to help Statham's character get revenge for the $200k stolen from him, which left his near death in the Everglades. The movie is based on the crime thriller series PARKER by bestselling novelist by Donald E. Westlake. Taylor Hackford, best known for the sexy thrillers, Against All Odds, An Officer and a Gentleman, White Nights, and Ray, directs the film. The film also stars an A-list checklist of talent including Michael Chiklis, Wendell Pierce and Nick Nolte.
The problem is: the movie attempts to be an old-fashion crime thriller with lots of drama, and Statham -- whom I love in traditional action roles -- just doesn't deliver. I can only imagine that Taylor Hackford, a fine director and veteran of choosing powerful talent for his films (Jeff Bridges, Rachel Ward, James Woods, Jamie Foxx, ) and was coerced or bullied into using Statham for this role.
Remember “Payback” starring Mel Gibson back in 1999? Yes it was a much better rendition of the Parker series. The story is the same: average thug hell-bent on revenge, but somehow teetering on the ethically challenged fence in some matters.
So here we go: Parker is on a final mission. His crew barely makes it out but the robbery is successful. Parker is pissed at his crew and can’t wait to get his share of the loot and leave the crew in the dust. Only problem is, the crew wants Parker for one last job, and they require his expertise. Differences of opinions are settled with gunshots, leaving unshaven Parker near death in the everglade swamp. Only thing is, Parker survives with the help of the generosity of a southern husband and wife team, and the ineptness of the Florida Police Department. Parker goes on a mission to collect his look, essentially robbing other bad guys to purchase the gear he needs – hence, he has already made back his money and then some so why not end the story there?
But enough on Mr. Statham. Fast forward to Jennifer Lopez: slim, trim, cut like a vixen, with feet so perfect even a modest fetisher will lose his mind. I’m not sure how she did it, but Jennifer Lopes shines in Parker, much like she did in “Out of Sight” with George Clooney, who is five times the actor Statham is. In one scene she strips down to her bra and panties – a gimme for horny adolescents and young males – and turns an obvious T&A scene into an exercise in restraint for self-gratification.
The worse part about Parker is the development of a weak love-triangle, with Jennifer Lopez’s character getting the short end of the stick. What male actor wouldn’t kill to have a love scene with Miss Lopez? I’m stupefied.
If you’re board on a Saturday and want to see a movie where all the secondary characters are better than the lead, check out Parker. Lower your expectations, and you’ll do fine, especially when Jennifer Lopez enters.