Parker

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What is going on with Jason Statham? At first, I thought he was gonna be a decent second-rate action star. Then he showed up in a couple movies that almost made me think he was gonna be a really big box office draw. Then he started making the same movie over & over again and now? It’s come to this.

Let’s face it, the action genre ain’t what it used to be. There’s a fine line to walk when you make a “Mission: Impossible” then compare it to “The Expendables.” As an audience, you want to believe that something like “Impossible” could happen. It’s played off that way. “Expendables” requires all suspension of belief as our heroes stand in a hail of bullets and never get a scratch. It is what it is and they are both forms of entertainment. Stratham is now straddling the two forms of action and I can’t fault him for milking it for all it’s worth but movies like this aren’t gonna fly. I consider myself to be a fan of Stratham. He’s a modern version of Bruce Willis. He’s a badass with a nice guy interior. But in this movie, his schtick gets old and then Jennifer Lopez shows up somewhere in the middle and I honestly have no idea WHAT this movie was doing.

First off, the dialogue is TERRIBLE. Secondly, Michael Chiklis is the “bad guy” and he’s TERRIBLE. Thirdly, I don’t know if this is a revenge movie, a heist movie or an “Out Of Sight” wanna-be. It starts out fine enough with a crew of 5 guys robbing the Ohio State Fair wearing clown outfits and Parker posing as a pastor (never seen THAT before). From there it goes spiraling downhill as Parker (the leader of the group, played by Stratham) is shot by his henchmen, he then jumps out of a moving vehicle and then is shot again at close range…and LIVES?!? He then recovers (VERY quickly, I might add) and goes in pursuit of the guys who left him for dead. The bad guys (led by Chiklis) are looking to steal some high priced diamonds in Miami so Parker tracks them there. There are side storylines involving the Chicago mob, Parker’s girlfriend and her dad (played by Nick Nolte, who has seen better days) and a hit man who is now on Parker’s trail and then thrown in the middle of all of this is J-Lo as a realtor. Yes…you read that correctly. She’s a realtor who is down on her luck and her big break is when Parker shows up looking for where his old henchmen are holed up. She figures out who he really is and decides she wants to help him.

So you tell me…where does this movie go from here? It’s a complete mess by the point that Lopez makes her first appearance (a good 45 minutes into it) and it just continues to get muddled from there on out. The idea of the jewelry heist is a decent one, but the way it gets carried out is laughable. Obviously J-Lo has to be caught by the bad guys and Parker has to save her and himself and then they ride off into the sunset together because the hot heroine ALWAYS gets the guy…right? Well…that is one plot point I won’t give away.

Needless to say, I didn’t like this movie at all. This is another strike against Stratham who really needs to figure out what he wants his legacy to be. Making these crappy action movies will get him rich, I suppose, but does he want to be a Bruce Willis? Or does he want to be a Chuck Norris. Looking at who STILL has a career, I know what MY answer would be. But before long, he’s gonna find himself clogging the $1 bins at Walmart and no one is gonna care anymore. And J-Lo? What are YOU doing? Go get a REAL role and stay out of the action business. You’ve already made the best heist movie that you’re going to make and you ARE a good actress. Get yourself a vehicle becoming of your ability because you are MUCH better than this crap.

Overall Rating: F

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