The picture above is indeed from the movie "Parker," although I could understand how people could get it confused with every other movie in the actor's career.
I really like Jason Statham as a person. Listening to him in interviews and such, he seems like an intelligent, charming guy. If I had one question for the actor, its this. Why is he inclined to make variations of the same movie? Is it an action hero curse to be apart of the same type every film? Is that what draws each action hero back time and time again for the same stereotypes?
Throw J.Lo into the mix and you've got a stomach-turning mess.
The film is pretty straightforward. Parker (Statham) is a a professional thief who gets talked into a job by his mentor Hurley (Nick Nolte). After the job, the crew Parker pulled the job with turns on him and leaves him for dead. Parker ends up being alive, vows revenge, gets a gal-pal in the form of J.Lo to help him. There's some flirting and kissing. Parker catches up with his old crew, gets his revenge. The end. You may think I have spoiled the movie for you, but the only way I did that is if you have never seen a single Statham movie in your life.
If you like the Statham formula, where he plays a smooth operator who knows seemingly limitless amounts fighting styles. If you like your Statham when he is good with the ladies. If you like it when Statham beats the bad guys and has spouts some one-liners. And if you don't mind Jennifer Lopez as an actress. Then you'll fall head over heels for "Parker."
Seriously, Jennifer Lopez needs to stay with her day job. Acting just isn't her bag, and I've got her entire filmography to prove it. Not one time has she performed in a way that even came remotely close to blowing me away. Not one time has she starred in a movie that I could come close to recommending to anyone. She seems like a movie curse, and its going to take something truly, incredibly special to get her out of Movie Jail. Please, somebody stop her before she acts again.
The rest of the performances are fine. Statham is his usual self, so don't expect anything new or invigorating. Nick Nolte is good in the very small role he has, I really wish he had more screen time. I also like Clifton Collin Jr. who plays a member of the crew who betrays Parker, but again, its not nearly enough screen time to show off his true talents. Michael Chiklis shows up as the leader of the crew that betrays Parker, and he brings uncanny life to the main villain of the film. I just wish the script by Donald Westlake gave his character something good to do.
The thing that really annoys me about "Parker" is how confused the movie seems to be. I can't even pinpoint what genre this movie is. At first, we think this will be a fun action film. Then it shifts into darker territory, similar to a standard revenge thriller. Once J.Lo's character jumps in the fray, I began to think romantic- action comedy. Then by the end, once Parker finds his old crew, the movie as well as logic goes every which way. The movie turns so dark that I felt I was watching an episode of Law & Order. There are random, disturbing scenes of abuse and near-molestation of a woman. It feels very out of place, especially after all we have seen from the movie thus far. I felt I needed to exit my ITunes browser to make sure I was watching what I was watching.
I'm sure Statham will continue to push out similar action thrillers, where he plays the same character over and over again. I guess he doesn't care about character development or acting range when he's being paid millions of dollars. I hope one day, he'll take into account what could make his career better. When and if he does, I think we'll be richer for it.
FINAL GRADE: D-