If there is a list of actors you wouldn’t want to cross, Jason Statham is sure to be towards the top of that list. Statham has been one of Hollywood’s most reliable action kings for years, and with “Parker” he is poised to remain near the top. Statham stars as the title character Parker, a thief with a unique (and sometimes troublesome) set of moral standards who is double crossed by his crew when the job goes awry.
In keeping with his morals, he explains to his chief partner Hurley (Nick Nolte) “when I say I’m going to do something, I’ll do it,” and with that sets out for Palm Beach, Florida to get revenge on his former associates. His attempts to inﬁltrate his former crew’s plans for a master heist leads him to an unlikely partnership with struggling realtor Leslie Rodgers (Jennifer Lopez). Like many of Statham’s ﬁlms, “Parker” certainly takes its share of liberties with the story whilst championing its action sequences, but its hard to deny the quality of the action. The ﬁght sequences are as breathtaking as they are violent, and the stunts are a spectacle in themselves, which is crucial to the entertainment value of an action movie. Yet, what separates “Parker” from most action ﬁlms is the camera work.
Lopez … is rarely nothing more than a thorn in the ﬁlm’s side, but the ever charming Statham more than offsets these irritations.
Unlike many ﬁlms within the genre that rely on fast paced editing and shaky camera work, Director Taylor Hackford (Ray, An Ofﬁcer and a Gentleman) employs ﬂuid wide angle cinematography as well as disciplined editing, both of which allow the viewer to better grasp the action. At times though, the lack of plausibility within the story is tiresome, and Lopez’s Leslie is rarely nothing more than a thorn in the ﬁlm’s side. However, the ever charming Statham more than offsets these irritations.
Statham deﬁnitely takes a beating in “Parker” (the hotel room sequence is especially grisly), and while the outcome is what we’ve come to expect, it’s hard not to root on for one of Hollywood’s most consistent action stars. Despite it’s predictable plot and some lackluster performances, Statham’s performance and its commendable cinematography ultimately constitute “Parker” as a entertaining ﬁlm experience.
*Parker, starring Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, and Nick Nolte, is Rated R. 118
minutes. Now Playing.
Foghorn Grade: B-