The swivel of the safe opening is something that the thief has always dreamed about getting good at. There’s the shoplifter that know how to stick a candy bar in their pocket and the pickpocket that can make the money from a man disappear in a matter of seconds. I understand that thieves steal because they need to or want that rush of adrenaline. But I’m curious about the ones that take things because they feel like they have to. That’s a whole another level of psychology there. Do they consider themselves modern day Robin Hoods? Probably not, but there has to be an element of one considering themselves heroes somehow.
Now the only way I see myself as a hero is that I’m saving my readers from having to spend money they worked hard for, just to only spend it on a bad movie. That’s not a hero. The greater heroes are the people that are willing to stand up for what they believe is right. Even if the actions they’re considering don’t have true moral, they at least have faith in themselves. One man’s trust in what’s right is put to the test in the latest action-thriller from Jason Statham, Parker.
Now the hero, only known as Parker (played by Jason Statham) is a professional thief, who lives by his rule of not stealing from the poor or hurting innocent people. He is asked by a friend named Hurley (played by Nick Nolte) to join a five-man job at a corrupt state fair. He accepts, and they go in undercover as clowns and a priest. Now this is a good opening to a heist movie. The operation goes successful and the gangs leader, Melander (played by Michael Chiklis) demands that Parker should join them in another job that could add million in their pockets. When he refuses, they shoot him and leave him for dead.
A farm family finds Parker and they take him to a local hospital. Upon waking up, he only has one motive in his mind, revenge. Parker tells Hurley that he wants to go after Melander for double-crossing him, who he later discovers is in Palm Beach, Florida for the next job. While under the guise as a rich Texan (which I found pretty funny) he meets with an unsuccessful real-estate agent Leslie (played by Jennifer Lopez) who is immediately smitten by this broken looking man. Despite her infatuation, Parker remains faithful to his girlfriend, Claire. Leslie convinces him to let her join as she knows the territory.
Let me start by saying that I’ve never read the other Parker novels that this movie is based off of, so I don’t know if it follows it well. So I’ll say that Jason Statham makes a strong presence as this man who seems to have a lot inside of him, that describes his moral of being a good thief. I just hope if sequels are made, they will dive more in to his head. But if his past isn’t explored, then his action skills are. I can’t deny that I had fun watching Statham kicking butt out of his Palm Beach hotel room.
Michael Chiklis makes for a good villain who double crosses the here and really knows how to use his large build into a fearful, yet resourceful leader. A lot of the elements of this action movie work. All except for Jennifer Lopez. It’s not that she’s not funny. She brings some pretty good dry humor into the story. But she has no purpose then to watch and comment. She makes no heroic moves, solves any problems for Statham or anything. It’s like she decided to stay on set and do commentary for the movie, yet somehow be in it.
I’ll give this three white cowboy hats out of five. Parker works better as an action film then a full movie. What lacks in character development succeeds with some butt kicking moves and nice Florida scenery.