Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Netflix Instant Queue Movie Review: "Parker" (2013)

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Director: Taylor Hackford
Year: 2013
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 58 minutes

After Parker (Jason Statham) and his partners steal approximately one million dollars from a county fair, his partner want Parker to reinvest in a bigger job. When Parker refuses, he is shot and left for dead. Rescued by a vehicle that is passing by, Parker heals up a bit and is ready to take revenge on those who double crossed him. 

"Parker" is your standard, generic, mindless vehicle for Jason Statham to display some ramped up action and ass-kicking. It has a very thin plot with no depth at all, but we rarely expect more from a Statham film since he's pretty much cornered the market when it comes to these autopilot action films with either a crime, a heist, or a thrill. Statham's Parker is a badass thief with an ethical code as he says he will never steal from those who can't afford it and will never kill those who don't deserve it. So, he's a moral thief, and when he is double-crossed, it is a matter of principle that he get revenge as a way to restore order. Makes total sense. There isn't much background or development with Parker as a character and why he is so deadly other than, simply put, he is played by Jason Statham. It's almost like the writers of this movie were on autopilot themselves and slapped some contractually mandated drivel together last minute for Statham to approve simply because it was protocol. Apparently, this film is based on a book that may develop him better, but the film fails miserably to do so. Jennifer Lopez is also in this film for some reason and her character seems pretty pointless. She plays a real estate agent who shows Statham some houses in West Palm Beach, Florida, as he pretends to be a rich Texan and uses one of the worst Southern (United States) accents ever attempted by any person ever on film in all of cinematic history. After she figures out he is not a wealthy Texan, which should have been fairly obvious to anyone with ears, she asks to be cut in on his deal and says she will help him with the job he needs to do. We don't understand why she says this since all she does is get in the way and she never seems to be much help and doesn't seem to do much else in the film other than being forced strip down to her lingerie, which is her sole purpose to being in this movie. Will cinema ever grow tired of machismo and the make gaze? Maybe when pigs like this fly. Michael Chiklis also stars here, offering up one of his less convincing performances as the main antagonist named Melander. Bobby Cannavale, one of Lolo's favs, pops up as a cop who makes romantic advances towards Lopez and briefly investigates a crime. Neither of these subplots goes anywhere and are dropped as quickly as they started. Nick Nolte manages to dust himself off long enough to earn a tiny paycheck, committing what little energy he seems to have left in his life into his grizzled performance. In the end, "Parker" is a film you can watch and entertained by because of the numerous fight scenes and action, but we are left puzzled at the awful narrative and terrible acting. It's like everyone is phoning it in and no one except for Jason Statham matters, and we have come to learn that we should never expect much from him beyond hard-hitting action thrillers like this.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 46%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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