Thursday, February 7, 2013

Parker (2013) starring Jeremy Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Bobby Cannavale, and Nick Nolte.
Reviewed by Anthony Servante

Summary: A thief with a unique code of professional ethics is double-crossed by his crew and left for dead. Assuming a new disguise and forming an unlikely alliance with a woman on the inside, he looks to hijack the score of the crew's latest heist.

Parker needed a lead actor with a stronger presence. Jason Statham makes a great action hero, and he held his own as an actor in The Bank Job (2008), but Parker could have used someone more weather-worn by time (Sean Bean perhaps) to pull off the hard-boiled character. And Jennifer Lopez brought the movie down a notch. Every noir flick needs its vixen, but JLo was not it. The story was well-plotted but long-winded, which was ok, as there were many interesting supporting characters. Only they didn't stick around long enough for us to get to know. The "mob" presence was discussed at length but aside from the hit-man, there was no Chicago ties evident, so there was no sense of impending danger.  Michael Chiklis was wasted, but when he was on the screen, he was menacing. Bobby Cannavale, who was so good in the third season of Boardwalk Empire, plays a cop who has a crush on JLo; his character disappears when a police presence could have added some oomph to the plot. The gore was quite creative, especially that knife scene with the hit-man, but the director went with more shots of JLo butt than bad-guy blood. I hope this weak attempt to put Parker back on the screen does not prevent the franchise from continuing. Parker is the type of character that fans would love to see again. Grade: B-

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