Friday, January 25, 2013

If Only This Were Out Of Sight: Parker

This review originally appeared on the San Francisco Appeal.

By screening the Jason Statham movie Parker for critics the night before the movie opens, the studio is pretty much letting the world know they have no faith in it. Oh sure, they may have a little more faith in it than they would in a movie that isn't screened at all, but I have a feeling Jennifer Lopez's presence in the film has something to do with the screenings it did get. No way Jenny from the Block is going to be associated with that kind of movie!

But alas, Jennifer, you ARE.

And because I am having to write this in the wee hours of the morning, I'm going to have to rely on bullet points; I can't be expected to turn out the usual borderline-comprehensible review at this time of night!
  • Taylor Hackford directed this. At one point in time, Taylor Hackford actually put out some solid, audience-pleasing films, (Officer and a Gentleman; Against All Odds), so even now, I sometimes get my hopes up when I see his name in the credits. Unfortunately, once again I am left feeling more impressed by the fact that he's married to Helen Mirren than I am by his film.
  • Jason Statham plays a neurosurgeon who is also a single dad.
  • Of course Jason Statham doesn't play a neurosurgeon who is also a single dad. This is a Jason Statham movie all the way, down to its shirtless scenes, many, many kick punches, and his playing a thief who doesn't "care about the money it's all about the integrity of the job don't you understand that now hold still while I shoot you in the face."
  • Jennifer Lopez really wants you to think this is somehow on par with the great Out of Sight, but the only thing Parker has in common with that movie is its Florida location, and a scene where Lopez strips down to her underwear.
  • The script is one of the worst I've seen adapted to an actual theatrical release in years. It feels like a first draft, with completely clunky dialogue, useless scenes that go on forever, and characters that exist for no discernible reasons.
  • Nick Nolte's character is slightly, only slightly, more useful, but every moment he's on film is uncomfortable because the man is a walking heart attack waiting to happen. He's red; he can hardly breathe; he's shaky. In all seriousness, I'm kind of worried about the guy!
  • There's a flashback scene in the movie where Parker (Statham) remembers being shot in the chest when his crew turned on him after a robbery. You know, in case the audience has forgotten what happened 15 minutes prior.
  • I fell asleep for a few seconds during the 45 minute sequence (approx.) where Lopez's real estate agent character is showing Parker houses for sale in Palm Beach, so I might have missed something crucial then. Apologies. [No, you didn't. Unless you wanted to hear EVEN MORE of Jason Statham speaking in a (I hope, humorously terrible) "Texas" accent--ELB]
  • I kind of liked the purse Jennifer Lopez carries around throughout most of the movie; I wonder if it comes in blue?
  • There's one moment where a barely conscious, bloodied-up Jason Statham looks at a small fluffy dog sitting in his lap, and smiles. I liked that moment. I hope someone makes an animated gif out of it.
  • Wait for the gif and stay the hell away from Parker.

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