I kind of equate Jason Statham to cheap booze. It may not taste good at first, but after awhile you get used to it. And before you know it you’re starting to feel pretty good. Your bending your elbow quicker and it’s doing its job you had hoped it would when you picked up that bargain basement bottle.
Parker is sort of the same way. It’s nothing special, but it accomplishes what it sets out to do – being a routine, yet somewhat entertaining action flick.
Statham plays the mysterious thief Parker. I always feel Statham is basically playing ‘Jason Statham’ in all his movies, but here he’s called ‘Parker’.
After a well planned heist at a fair he’s double-crossed by his cohorts and left for dead while they make off for a bigger score in Palm Beach. However, the dunces that this crew are didn’t kill Parker! He’s very much alive and heading after them.
With the help of a well-built unsuccessful real estate agent played by Jennifer Lopez, Parker goes about finding out what they’re up, get back the money they stole from him and exact some well earned revenge on their betraying asses!
While watching this I kept thinking this is the type of flick we would have been seeing every other week back in the 80’s action heyday. It’s a very straight forward story, the action is somewhat grounded and not completely over-the-top-defying-physics kind of stuff and the lead actor delivers what he’s being paid to do – look tough and kill bad guys.
That’s pretty much it and to my surprise I was entertained.
Statham is hit or miss with me, but here I liked him doing more….I’ll call it more ‘believable action’. There’s no cars flying at him. He’s not jumping off skyscrapers. trying to keep his adrenaline pumping or doing more superhero type of stuff. He shoots guys. He gets into some hand to hand fights. One really brutal one in his hotel room. And he stares down anyone that crosses his path. It’s an old school kind of action movie.
Michael Chiklis does his intense thing and makes his lead one-dimensional bad guy intimidating. I love Chiklis in almost everything. Nick Nolte does his grizzled mumbling thing relaying info to Parker.
A strange turn by Patti LuPone as the soap opera loving mother of Lopez. And Emma Booth as Parker’s girlfriend. I have never heard of Booth before. I’m not sure if this part in Parker will be a boost in her career or if she will be one of those attractive anonymous actresses that got cast as the wife/girlfriend in a mainstream movie once and I’ll never see her again. That happens a lot.
Then there’s Lopez who made me forget about her diva status and reminded me she can pull off actually playing a part in a movie and leave the baggage of her image offscreen. And even more impressive she can actually be somewhat believable as a down on her luck nine to fiver trying to make ends meet! Plus, she looks good too.
I was kind of surprised to hear that Parker came and went out of theaters pretty fast and didn’t do very well. I would think Statham fans and just general action fans would have dug this, but maybe it’s more of the type of film to watch at home. With the price of movie tickets nowadays I suppose it doesn’t warrant paying that much to see it.
But it’s well suited for a Saturday night rental if you’re in the mood to kick back and watch a predictable action flick. I’m not sure how often you’re in the mood for that, but you could make a lot of worse choices.
There’s certainly nothing extraordinary here and there’s nothing in it that you’ll be remembering soon afterwards. It’s pretty much the definition of a ‘generic action flick’, but while it was on I did get into it and didn’t think it was too bad. Maybe at the time I was just in the perfect mood for it.