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Jason Statham’s new action flick Parker is bad, bad, bad By Richard Crouse and Steve Gow Metro Canada Reel Guys January 25, 2013

WFTCRMImageFetch.aspxSYNOPSIS: After a daring robbery goes bad thief Parker (Jason Statham) is double-crossed and left for dead. But because the movie is called “Parker,” he doesn’t succumb to the gunshot wounds. Instead he vows to put things right between him and the gang who cheated him out of his $200,000 split of the loot. “If you make a deal both sides have to honor it otherwise there’s chaos, he says, “and I won’t let chaos take over my life.” Except that things get chaotic when he hatches an elaborate plan, involving his real estate agent (Jennifer Lopez), to get vengeance and his money.

Star Ratings:

Richard: 2 Stars
Steve: 2 Stars

Richard: Steve, the most shocking thing about Parker is that Jason Statham has hair in the opening scene. His usually close-cropped do is hidden under a wig that makes him look a bit like George Clooney’s English brother. Other than that this is as by-the-book as it gets. Did you buy into the story at all?

Steve: Not really. But as shocking as Statham is brandishing a wig as Donald E. Westlake’s popular revenge-seeking character, he wasn’t half as unconvincing as Jennifer Lopez when she pops up as the desperate, danger-seeking real estate agent. Was that bad casting or just a bad character?

RC: Her character is baffling. As a pseudo-love interest and almost co-conspirator, she’s as grating as her co-star Nick Nolte’s voice. If an Emery board could speak it would sound like the rasp Nolte’s vocal chords produce these days. For me, though, the moral of the movie is really skewed. The movie is so intent on selling the idea that the vengeful killer is really a good guy that a character at the end actually wonders if he is some kind of angel. Could it be that in this world bad + bad = good?

SG: I suppose Jason Statham is today’s ideal mainstream anti-hero. After all, as mediocre as most of his films are, director Taylor Hackford is at least consistent in delivering what Statham does best – look sinister and kick butt.  However, as absurdly indestructible as he is here, the film is too morose to be much fun.

RC: Statham is consistent; I’ll give you that. He has two characters: Statham Character #1 in which he plays loner with a past who must protect a loved one and Statham Character #2 which is the loner with a past who must protect a youthful innocent. Here he’s playing #1. The loved one is money, although there are a number of other characters that could easily have taken the place of the greenbacks.

SG: I agree. Concentrating on a compelling sidekick almost surely would’ve helped solve the questionably ineffectual supporting cast here. One last thing – what kind of a name is Parker anyhow?  That lame moniker sounds like Statham should be serving high tea and crumpets to the Crawley family on Downton Abbey, not cracking the skulls of crooked criminals.

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