Directed by Taylor Hackford. Starring Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins Jr., Bobby Cannavale. (2013, R, 118 min.)
REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., Feb. 1, 2013
I have never doodled during a movie before in my life, but holy hell, Parker’s two-hour running time takes a lifetime. Plenty of time for mental doodling, too, sampled forthwith:
Why did they need two hours to tell this story? “Honorable thief Parker gets double-crossed by his gang and is left for dead; he recovers, seeks righteous revenge; much blood is spilled.” There – I did it in 22 words. And maybe instead of explaining his code of honor every single time he pointed a gun at somebody, Parker could just, like, preprint it on a business card instead? That could’ve shaved off 10 minutes from the final cut, easily. Was Parker this joyless in Donald E. Westlake’s original novel? Were the two movies already made from the book – John Boorman’s Point Blank and Brian Helgeland’s Payback – so wanting as to warrant a third whack? Point Blank starred Lee Fucking Marvin! “Jason Fucking Statham!” – doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? Look, I get that he’s an international action hero with multiple franchises to his name (the Transporter and Crank series) and that is serious stuff, but would it kill him to crack a smile? Or did he have a “no teeth” clause written into his contract? And when did Nick Nolte turn into such a goblin? (I swear, his vocal cords sound tuned to a frequency that would make a shar-pei cry.) How come every aerial shot looks like stock footage? How did they make Bourbon Street look so antiseptic? And how did they make Palm Beach look so … Plano? Man, Jennifer Lopez needs a new agent; what the hell is she doing playing the also-ran in a love triangle? She’s freaking Jenny From the Block, yo. Does Jason Statham have a block to his name? I think not. I’m betting director Taylor Hackford doesn’t, either. Truth be told, I haven’t loved one of Hackford’s movies since his Mikhail Baryshnikov/Gregory Hines Cold War dancing-buddy movie White Nights. Snicker all you want: It’s better than you remember. Tap dancing!
Parker would have been better with tap dancing.