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Donald E. Westlake Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

Donald E. Westlake Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

Jack Rico

By

2013/01/25 at 12:00am

Parker

01.25.2013 | By |

Parker

I must say that as soon as I heard that British B-actor Jason Statham was teaming up with the Puerto Rican diva Jennifer Lopez in an action flick, my mouth dropped in reaction to seeing one of the worst casting selections done in recent Hollywood history. What does Statham’s violent, testosterone driven, one-liner B-films have to do with Lopez’s dough-eye, ear to ear smile, rom-coms? Nothing! So what was the result? A satisfying union of action violence and sweet sexy comedy. These two stars might not necessarily be a match made in heaven, but each one brings their appealing specialties that can please the mass moviegoing taste, especially the Latino moviegoer who eats this shit up!

 

As is typical in Jason Statham films, Statham plays ‘Parker,’ a Robin Hood like criminal with a code of honor who teams up with not so honorable criminals to do a heist (this seems to be almost the premise in every movie he does). When things go wrong, the nefarious thugs almost kill our hero and leave him for dead until… he miraculously survives. With the intent of getting his revenge, he meets serendipitously Leslie (Jennifer Lopez), a real estate agent hell-bent on escaping her life malaise, who is willing to help him capture the ruffians in exchange for a enough money to allow her to start a new life. Obviously, things don’t go as planned and blood, illusions of romance and a big payday ensue. 

 

Apart from Jennifer Lopez, there is no Latino actors in the cast. Even Jennifer Lopez’s mom, the veteran Broadway actress Patti Lupone, is Italian. She tries to speak with a Latino accent with the intention, I’m sure, to fool us bilingual Latinos into thinking her dialect is purely “authentic”. Please. Al Pacino tried to do it in Scarface and we’re still parodying him. But Hispanics don’t go to the movies because there is one of us represented on screen. We go because there is a genre that appeals to our social sensibilities – in this case action –  the reputations certain actors bring to the table and because we like to have a good time like anyone else. ‘Parker’ accomplishes that.

 

We know what we’re getting by paying $13 (in NYC) to go see Jason Statham. He cranks them out once/twice a year. But with Lopez it’s different. Her professional job is more about being a celebrity than an actress. It is hard to get a sense for how her acting career is evolving because of it. For her to descend from A-list status to becoming a supporting actress in a Statham B-movie is a bit harsh. It’s fair to say that her film career has officially reached a nadir that will most likely continue this way. Her finest acting moment was supposed to be 2006’s “El Cantante,” but she squandered a precious opportunity, and so did Marc Anthony, who if he had been given the chance to shine, his career could have skyrocketed. The last time she was the lead star in a movie it was 2010’s “The Back-Up Plan,” but her last appearance was last year’s “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” a mish-mash of comedy clichés that should’ve been left in the retired jokes closet from where they came from. Still, her output is charming enough to maintain a level of likability in Hollywood and amongst moviegoers that that will allow her to continue working.

 

By no means is “Parker” a must-see action movie, but in the same breath, it is not one to be dismissive about. It manages to charm, amuse, entertain and laugh at. If I can do that in one sitting from a movie, then it deserves my time and money. 

Karen Posada

By

2013/01/25 at 12:00am

Parker

01.25.2013 | By |

Parker

Jason Statham is one of my favorite action stars because he always delivers, he can carry a whole movie and entertain us blow by blow all the way through, but that’s not the case with ‘Parker’, because the biggest handicaps it has are Jennifer Lopez and an extremely weak script. The movie has some violent fun and could have been better if Lopez’s persona wouldn’t have been given such a big chunk of time, which works as a major break pedal for the flow of the film and the story. There are some memorable fight scenes but the movie gets so wrecked that it’s hard to enjoy it as a whole. 

 

In this crime-thriller Parker (Jason Statham) is a thief that gets left behind for dead by the last group of men he worked with. To get vengeance and follow his principles he makes a plan to get back at these men and recruits Leslie (Jennifer Lopez) a woman whose dull life leads her to volunteer to be part of this dangerous plan.

 

Despite of the fact that Statham’s character has a weird set of morals and principals for a criminal, I could have gone along with the poorly executed story and enjoyed it if it wouldn’t have taken a screeching halt the second Lopez comes into it. Lopez’s story isn’t completely distracting as it serves a small purpose, but as soon as she completes the task her part should have been done; instead she’s left to wonder around to be one more thing the main character has to worry about. I’m not going to bother speaking about JLo’s acting as her character is completely irrational and is just a huge annoyance that could have been avoided or at least toned down.

 

The fight scenes are the only things that would get me to recommend this movie, as they are completely entertaining and leave you openmouthed. At the beginning there’s some comedy along with the action, which is where the picture of a “good” criminal gets woven in. There’s this weird 80’s tone and feel towards the middle of the film, all contributed to bad filmmaking. Here is where the movie really slows down and begins to loose its essence showing how little effort director Taylor Hackford put into this film.

 

Once the movie looses our interest it’s very hard for it to get it back and it all begins with Lopez’s appearance, from there it all just goes downhill. If you like seeing Statham on screen you might be able to stay for it all despite of him running on auto-mode for a while with a poor southern accent, but it will be hard to get through the very slow painful middle of the film and past JLo’s character of a sad and desperate woman. If you are not already a fan of Statham’s work then there’s no reason why you should put yourself through this, even though it does have some very cool fight scenes it’s not worth it.   

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