The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Parker | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Parker

Directed by: Taylor Hackford
Starring: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte

A thief hunts down the men who double-crossed him.

On the advice of his girlfriend's father, Parker (Statham) reluctantly agrees to lead an unfamiliar crew of five on a heist at the Ohio State Fair. During the job, one of the men makes an error which results in a fair-goers death. While driving away, Melander (Chiklis) tries to convince Parker to take part in a $50 million Palm Beach diamond heist. When Parker refuses, he is shot and left for dead but a passing family discover him and take him to a hospital. As the cops arrive, Parker escapes from the hospital and sets out to find the men who double-crossed him. In Palm Beach, he reluctantly enlists the aid of local estate agent Leslie (Lopez).
In spite of his pun-friendly surname, Taylor Hackford is a respected film-maker, so much so that he's the current president of the Director's Guild of America. I think we were all shocked upon learning that Statham would be working with the man who gave us such award-friendly fare as 'Ray' and 'An Officer & a Gentleman'. Could the action star be entering a new, more serious, stage in his career? After all, the title of his latest film features two syllables; that's one more than most of his movies. Usually he appears in films with mono-syllabic names like 'Crank', 'Safe', and 'Blitz'. 'Thump', 'Crush', and 'Stomp' can only be around the corner.
Hackford starts things off nicely with a well constructed fairground heist. It all goes to hell as soon as Lopez turns up though. The marketing for the film seems to push some imaginary sexual tension between the two leads which never actually materializes in the film itself. Early on we learn that Statham is totally committed to his girlfriend so this ruins any chance of a romantic sub-plot. (Come to think of it, if my girlfriend was Nick Nolte's daughter I wouldn't mess her around either). Lopez' arrival brings a comic element which fits awkwardly with the gritty tone of the film's opening act. The movie starts off like a tough seventies style thriller and ends up resembling something Eddie Murphy might have appeared in during the eighties. Most of the comedy is unintentional though, with the biggest laugh being Lopez' discovery that Statham is English (nobody else was fooled by his terrible Texan accent).
I'll end this review with a quick tip for car thieves: get to Ohio! If this film is to be believed, nobody there ever locks their cars.
Parker (2013) on IMDb 6.2/10