Everyone has a few actors who they just can’t pass on one of their movies no matter what it happens to be. Well, one of mine is Jason Statham. A lot of his movies are similar. I’ve heard the running joke that all his films are Transporter sequels. While not the case with all, it is fairly accurate. Still see them all. Last year, though, Safe caught me a bit off guard. It had a lot of the same attributes shared with most of his work. However, it had a better story and screenplay. Unfortunately, Parker is one of Statham’s most generic action roles. This was bound to happen; consistency is something never associated with Jason Statham movies. Sometimes you get a good entertaining action flick, but in other instances you don’t get anything beyond an uninspired action tale. Even with many being sub par, I’ve never hated any of them. With Parker being one of Statham’s worst, I hope his next is one of his best.
Parker (Jason Statham) is making a career out of being a criminal. All is well until one day his gang double crosses him, stealing his share and leaving him for dead. Parker comes out of this mess alive, however, and goes to track down his former group for revenge. He tracks them to Palm Beach, but not the exact destination. There, Parker meets Leslie Rodgers (Jenifer Lopez) – a local real estate agent – who helps him find the house where his gang is held up in. They are planning another big job. Parker plans to disrupt this, along with Leslie, who is keen to help him.
The screenplay was the weakest link. Along with the direction, they both seemed rehashed. Kind of like they wanted to do things similar in other movies. But, it was taken way too far in that aspect; it became a carbon copy of one. While, some elements are poorly done, that isn’t the main problem. Straight up action movies rarely reach anything close to perfection. Parker is just dull to sit through. You will constantly be checking the time. Everything you see you’ve seen before, not to mention better. The direction felt uninspired. Taylor Hackford can direct, but I felt this kind of movie just didn’t play to any of his real strengths as a director.
The story you are told is one of the most overused ones there is. It can be masked by having good characters and action sequences. Both of those things play hand in hand as well. If you care, or at least like the characters, you can get more immersed into the action scenes. Character wise, not once did I feel for any of them. All of them were shallow; avoid of any depth. They served their purpose in the story by being punching bags. Other than that, there isn’t much else. When the action comes up, it is your standard fighting – nothing new. It could have been filmed better too. I could see what was going on, so that’s a plus.
All the acting is bland. Jason Statham gives his usual performance. He’s never bad in a movie, but on the other hand he’s never too great. He does have his appeal, still. Here, his entire surroundings aren’t helping him. So, in conclusion, Statham comes off very wooden. Jenifer Lopez isn’t a very good actor. I never like to say that, but in this case it’s true. This performance by Lopez is at least better than Gigli. Being fair, though, she hasn’t had the best material to work with. Clifton Collins Jr., Wendell Pierce, Micheal Chiklis, and Nick Nolte all do they best they could done. Overall, none of the performances impact the movie. You could substitute any other actors in their places, and it wouldn’t make a difference.
My rating was going to be a tad higher because Parker isn’t anything awful. When I thought about it though, there is no reason to see this. Action movies of this nature are supposed to be fun and entertaining. That was the purpose of Parker. Why see this when there are plenty of better things similar to it? The answer to that question, is you shouldn’t. If you’re a big Jason Statham fan like myself you will probably see this eventually. Just know it’s along the lines of The Mechanic. So, here is yet another February movie to pass on. Can’t really blame bland movies for coming out, most do this time of month. I do hope Warm Bodies changes that – can’t wait to see it!