Parker (2013) Directed by Taylor Hackford. Starring: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Chiklis. IMDB says: “A thief with a unique code of professional ethics is double-crossed by his crew and left for dead. Assuming a new disguise and forming an unlikely alliance with a woman on the inside, he looks to hijack the score of the crew’s latest heist.”
Jason Statham has become synonymous with shooting guns, punching people repeatedly in the face or neck region, breaking bones, blowing shit up, car chases, and that intense stare down. So going into this film I expected something along the lines of he has something the mob wants, he won’t give it up, they go after him while he goes after them, and his girl gets involved too for comedic relief. What I got was something so much better. Parker is, in my eyes, the flagship for next generation Gindhouse/B-movies. Parker has so many flaws that work against it that it becomes entertaining. The acting? Terrible, but it works to the films advantage and becomes enjoyable. Don’t forget! the action is there too. With gunplay, over-the-top stomach punches, poorly done blood special effects, and minimal car chases, Parker delivers action with a gritty Statham seal of approval.
The film is about Parker (Statham) who gets involved in an Ohio State Fair heist (yep, a state fair) but gets double-crossed and is left for dead. Now, under a new alias, Parker is out for revenge. A sorta-typical storyline, but it’s an entertaining one nonetheless. From the very beginning, there is so much poorly synched up audio, and it doesn’t happen just once. By my count it happens 7 times where a characters mouth is moving (or not moving at all) and there is dialogue that doesn’t match AT ALL what the characters are saying. Just… wow. There’s a scene where you blatantly see the camera guy in the window and a good portion of the blood in the film is the fake off-color CGI stuff that is all too quickly becoming an industry standard. Personally I’m not a fan, I’m a squibs guy. But that’s here nor there, especially when you watch this film and you’re mesmerized by the awful acting by Nick Nolte, Michael Chiklis, Jennifer Lopez, pretty much anyone with dialogue, minus Jason Statham. He delivers his usual cold-matter-of-factly-I’ll-kick-your-ass-in-13-different-ways-4-of-which-involve-a-gun-clip-in-your-neck dialogue and he gets away with because, well, he’s Jason Statham. I expected a bit more from Jennifer Lopez, but the writing and the way her character was structured really limited the range we’re used to seeing from her. Her character is an interesting addition at first, but then ends up being little Ms. Annoying Exposition.
The film runs a half hour too long and is filled with shots of topless women for the sake of having topless women (not that I’m complaining and no, we don’t see Jennifer Lopez naked BUT she does have a scene where she strips…. I’m impressed), shots of Jason Statham opening a glass door and walking outside onto a balcony (easily 5 times), unnecessary filler shots of West Palm Beach Florida, and footage of mindless conversation that neither builds character or advances the plot. You can check this out in theatres, but I recommend it as a rental. Netflix, VOD, or RedBox this movie and watch it with your friends. I can guarantee you’ll have an enjoyable evening and I can guarantee you’ll see a Parker drinking game from me in the future.
FTS SCORE: 71%