Tuesday, 16 February 2010
FILM REVIEW: FROM PARIS WITH LOVE
Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a well groomed and highly efficient aide to an American diplomat in the city of lights. But he also moonlights as a gopher for Special Ops, performing clandestine errands at the behest of a voice received anonymously over the phone. Reese wants desperately to be a Special Ops agent: he's never fired a gun but, hey, he's got the James Bond suit. And then he gets his chance.
Reese is sent to the airport to collect Wax (John Travolta), a Special Ops agent who sticks out like a sore thumb, a goatee-sporting sore thumb. He's also a few steps closer to whack job than the villain Travolta played in the recent Pelham 123; his Wax is a psychopath with a badge. Their first port of call in Paris is a Chinese restaurant where Wax proceeds to reduce the wait staff to cannon fodder: he's from the shoot first ask questions later school of thought.
Apparently the restaurant is a front for drug runners, the proceeds of which are being funnelled into terrorist activities, or so I understand. Pierre Morel's film doesn't really make a lick of sense, nor does it stop long enough to draw breath and explain. It's on to one shoot 'em and/or blow 'em up sequence after another, its 90 minute running time perhaps its one redeeming feature.
Morel's previous film, Taken, also had a man running all over Paris killing as if he had a quota to meet. In that film, Liam Neeson was the killing machine on a mission to recover his daughter who had been abducted by sex slave traders. Sure it was violent and silly, but Neeson made his character believable and the film a guilty pleasure.
From Paris With Love, however, is just violent and silly with no point for its existence other than to be violent and silly. The latest in a long line of action film odd couples, Travolta hams it up big time with Meyers floundering like a wet fish in his wake. And if you're not a teenage boy or a fan of mindless gun play, you'll be left with little more than a headache.