Courtesy of Parker
Action star extraordinaire Jason Statham (“The Expendables 2”) continues to do what he does best in a storyline that is unabashed, unoriginal and unambitious.
Based on a novel series by Donald Westlake, “Parker” is just another average action-thriller movie. Director Taylor Hackford (“Love Ranch”) makes no attempts to separate the movie from other mainstream action films.
The plot features the stereotypical action-protagonist Parker (Statham) getting revenge on his former crime gang that double-crossed him. Along the way, he manages to get the help of a frustrated real-estate agent, Leslie Rogers (Jennifer Lopez, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”), who desperately needs a fresh start.
It’s difficult to connect with the characters because Hackford never develops them. The lack of exposition places audiences in the here and now, which prevents the evolution of characters. Parker could easily be interchangeable with any other Statham character over the years like Frank in “Transporter” or Chev in “Cranked.”
Hackford underutilizes Lopez’s skills and gives her a rather unexciting role. At some points in the film, it feels as though Lopez is only being used for her looks rather than her acting ability. The best acting came from the assassin Kroll (Daniel Bernhardt, “Santa’s Summer House”) with his cold-blooded demeanor and near absolute silence.
Despite that, Lopez does an excellent job of providing comic relief. The jokes are witty, short and funny — what humor in an action movie should be. Fortunately, the action is exciting and unapologetic, with no moments of long standoffs or deep drama. The decent amount of graphic violence keeps the audience engaged and interested in an easily predictable story.
“Parker” lacks the creativity to rise above other similar films but also doesn’t fall into the danger of trying anything too ambitious or contrived.