Movie Review: “Parker” – Almost a Clean Getaway

Written by Tommy January 30, 2013


Yeah, “Parker” is okay. The dialogue is outrageously shitty; there’s a lot of pointless filler, and half-way through the pacing gets wonked six ways from Sunday. I can’t say that you should run out and see it right away, but you won’t feel like you wasted your money either. That sounds really noncommittal. Let me ELABORATE. Also, apparently this is based on some loser book series, but I won’t comment on that because reading is for squares.

 

Parker dies, but he gets better

So Jason Statham is a thief who follows a strict personal code of ethics. After showing off his great thievery skills with the daring robbery of an impenetrable country fair, Statham is betrayed by his criminal buddies and is left for dead. He survives, and enlists the help of his mobster-ish mentor Nick Nolte (played by Hoggish Greedly) to get REVENGE.

This whole beginning part is pretty good, I think. I mean, the script is horrible and childish, but damnit it’s efficient. Jason Statham is a thief with morals, and he demonstrates it by showing kindness to the people he robs. Boom. Character established. This might sound like screenwriting 101, but I’ll bet you a thousand dollars that if the people who wrote “Taken 2” did this, there would be a scene where someone goes “JASON STATHAM, YOU MAY BE A THIEF BUT YOU ARE A GOOD MAN ON THE INSIDE.” With Parker, you get a sense of what’s going on very quickly, and except for a lame flashback exposition scene, it jumps straight into the heist action.

I just like Jason Statham, okay!?

This whole main plot, with Jason Statham gettin’ the bad guys, is pretty fun. I might be baised though, since I friggin love heist movies. If I were a Pokemon I would be weak against “Heist” type. The real, fundamental problems only start to appear with the subplots. The movie comes an absolute screeching halt with the introduction of Jennifer Lopez’s character. Her first two scenes ares so different in tone that it’s almost like they took scenes from some other failed romantic comedy and spliced them in to fill up time. That shit needs to be dovetailed with the main plot more, or else it just takes you out of the whole tense, action-focused atmosphere the movie was building. It’s pretty clear why she’s in the movie though. Remember that strip search scene from the trailer? Yeah. It is exactly as awkward, out of place, and stupid as it looks. There’s another subplot here too, but to avoid spoilers I’m just gonna say that they build up this one guy to be a big antagonist to Statham, and then he does absolutely nothing of importance in the whole film. It’s just filler.

Other than that though, Parker is a pretty standard heist/action affair. People break into stuff, people dress up as other people. It’s all pretty well handled and tense. One weird thing that annoyed me is how much of the blood is CGI. There isn’t a lot of blood in Parker, but when it does appear it’s all soupy and fake looking. It sucks because one of my favourite things about the movie is how simple it all is. Jason Statham doesn’t jump off a helicopter and shoot four hundred dudes, and he isn’t an indestructible super hero (though there is a lot of christ symbolism associated with his character). I think he only kills three people in the whole film. This kind of small scale gives the actual fight scenes a little more intensity, a little more importance, y’know?

Okay fine, it’s a guilty pleasure I admit it.

So yeah, if you’re like me, and you like movies where people open safes and make elaborate plans to break into stuff, “Parker” is a fairly okay film. Jason Statham is the exact same angry action guy he always is, but Michael Chiklis is in there and I understand he’s popular with you kids, and even though Jennifer Lopez has no reason at all to be in the film, she puts on a good performance.  At the end of the day, I can’t recommend this to everyone. If you are like me, and become aroused whenever someone says “but that place is like a fortress, you can’t break in there!” then maybe maybe give it a look.

My Rating: 5.5/10

 

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