Saturday, February 27, 2010
From Paris With Love *
Director: Pierre Morel
Cast: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Kasia Smutniak, Richard Durden, Amber Rose Revah
If Luc Besson was the savior of the action movie, he also put a curse on it that prevents his imitators from achieving the kind of B movie thrills he could deliver so easily.
Pierre Morel is such a case and on this movie, based on a story by Besson, he relies to every lazy trick in the book to finish with something that's not quite entertaining to begin with.
The film centers on the partnership between James Reece (Meyers) and Charlie Wax (Travolta) American agents trying to solve a case in Paris, who couldn't be more different if they tried.
Reece works as the ambassador's (Durden) assistant and is the kind of guy who gets called "methodical", while Wax is something of a chaos, always looking for sex and fun he has no regards to how many people he kills in order to get the work done.
If you think the opposites-as-a-team concept isn't quite fresh, the film's plot and its major twist can be guessed by anyone with the most minimal knowledge of the action genre and bad line delivery.
The action sequences are the kind that make no sense, are no fun and even look bad. Because the film has so many lazy plot twists, we end with something that pushes the concept of degrees of separation into pure absurdity.
When the movie begins they're looking for cocaine dealing Asians and before we know it they're on the hunt for Islamic fundamentalists.
Its views on villains and justice are very telling of the predominantly biased American foreign policy post 9/11 but Morel doesn't give a damn about coherent political theories or even postmodernist deconstruction of the genre through these clichés.
He's so enamored by the way he comes up with bloodbaths and explosions that it takes us no time to figure out that if the characters keep on destroying the city, we won't always have Paris.