Friday Flick: Parker

Parker_01Official Description: Parker (Jason Statham) is a professional thief who lives by a personal code of ethics: Don’t steal from people who can’t afford it and don’t hurt people who don’t deserve it. But on his latest heist, his crew double crosses him, steals his stash, and leaves him for dead. Determined to make sure they regret it, Parker tracks them to Palm Beach, playground of the rich and famous, where the crew is planning their biggest heist ever. Donning the disguise of a rich Texan, Parker takes on an unlikely partner, Leslie (Jennifer Lopez), a savvy insider, who’s short on cash, but big on looks, smarts and ambition. Together, they devise a plan to hijack the score, take everyone down and get away clean. Also starring Michael Chiklis.

Unofficial Description: There aren’t many movies these days that are ‘action flicks’ in the vein of the 80’s and early 90’s action flicks.  The genre used to dominate the movie landscape, and has since been displaced by comic book characters and racing movies, plus the occasional Bourne adventure.  One of the few holdouts of the core genre is Jason Statham.  His movies tend to be violent and over the top in that 80’s style.  Sometimes, that’s what you want – turn your brain off and watch some bad-ass motherfucker do things you can’t.  This movie delivers (mostly) on that premise.

If I have a complaint about this movie, it is that it follows the pattern established by so many action stars who have come before – Statham appears to be at that point in his career where he wants more ‘substance’ and plot.  Really, very few people watch these movies for the plot.  I mean, come on – it’s action porn.  In action porn, ‘plot’ only slows you down.  This movie tries to be something a step-above the rest, and I don’t think it accomplishes that goal.  Statham does well (as usual) in the role of loner/outlaw with a conscience.  They toss in Jennifer Lopez and I honestly don’t know why.  They give her an Into Darkness-esque underwear scene that serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever except to let Statham (and us) check out her body.  That is, I suppose, also part of the genre, but when the movie is trying to be something else – have a heart of substance and soul, the gratuitous female body shot feels out of place.

Second, this movie is about 45 minutes too long.  At the 1:15 mark, I was wondering when it would end.  Like a short story that never got edited, the movie left in a ton of unneeded crap.  A decent trim would have made this movie much more powerful.  Sadly, Jennifer Lopez’s entire arc would have been left on the floor in such an edit, and I would’ve been fine with that.

I caught this movie on Netflix.  It was okay, not great.  I suggest you check it out but only if you don’t have to pay more for it than your regular subscription.