Commentary
5:00 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Movie Review: Parker

Parker is one of those standard violence thrillers, with Jason Statham as one of those heroes who can push a knife blade through the palm of his hand in order to get a grip on the villain, and Michael Chiklis, who can take six bullets in the chest at close range and not even be slowed down.

Statham is being pursued by the police, his gang, the mob, and his own self-destructive revenge code, which is enough to make him irresistible to Jennifer Lopez, an unethical real-estate dealer who apparently can find no better prospect in Florida (a strange place where auction houses sell off $75 million worth of jewelry without a guard inside the store).

The villains are made less worthy than the hero by being introduced in literal clown suits in a rather preposterous heist of the Ohio State Fair, by including one member whose role seems to be to foul up even the simplest assignment, and by ending their first sequence with an act of purposeless villainy.

I suppose this sounds like a knock. But the ever-popular film noir has always depended largely on this type of thing, and there may never have been a time when this kind of senseless amorality was more popular. Except for its total lack of special effects and sex, I'd say Parker was a pretty typical current Hollywood product, including its carelessness in completely losing track of the Mafia subplot that Nick Nolte introduces, and such questionable plot elements as a heist gang that depends on fire trucks in its modus operandi. Somebody must find unshaven brutes like Statham attractive enough to care about, and there is a generous offering of overloud gunfire, a good scattering of corpses and some requisite reckless driving.

In all honesty, I must admit that I was thoroughly entertained. I don't brag about that, but it's the truth.