Trust in the criminal world is something that’s always on shaky ground and shouldn’t be taken seriously in many instances. Sure, “honor amongst thieves” is a saying that I’m sure some of the more “virtuous” criminals hold close to their core values, but expecting all or most of them to believe in that saying wouldn’t be wise for anyone who’s built a career in the field of felonious activities. Although I’m no criminal, I know this to be true, but guys like Parker (Jason Statham) have to find that out the hard way.
Based on a novel entitled Flashfire, the film Parker tells the story of a thief and his thieving associates who are out to steal some money. Their target of choice is the Ohio State Fair. Unlike the usual kleptomaniac, Parker has a small bit of a moral compass. He believes in stealing from people who can afford it, but he also is only willing to hurt people who deserve it. Is coworkers on this particular job, don’t necessarily feel the same way.
This time out, this sociopathic crew that’s accompanying Parker, isn’t who he normally works with and are still a little foreign to him. Unlike the British criminal with a semi-conscious, this gang of professional stickup artists are all about piling up the “greenbacks” and couldn’t care less about anyone who’s unfortunate enough to step directly into their line of fire while they’re attempting to elevate themselves financially.
From whatever lengths their methods differ from one another, this group of five can’t complain too much about the end result as they’re successful in the heist that nets them a good bit of money. However, after some internal talks amongst the group, Parker finds himself on the outside looking in when the remaining quartet decides to cut him out of the deal and take his portion of the forcefully collected profits. This obviously doesn’t sit well with Parker, and there’s only one thing a man with his background would do.
The ripped off robber is going out on a mission to get what is owed to him from his disloyal partners in crime. Knowing that they’re preparing for their next heist in West Palm Beach, Florida, Parker hopes to confront these goons and get his revenge. That’s easier said than done, because he has to find them and he’s still outnumbered four to one. How will he find these guys? How will he get his vengeance once he does?
For starters, he does find himself an accomplice in this plan with retribution and money in mind. Her name is Leslie Rogers (Jennifer Lopez), a struggling real estate agent who’s currently staying with her mother after her ex-husband tossed her to the side due to his appetite for women who are barely allowed to drink legally. She doesn’t completely know what’s going on, but she’s always working for her piece of the pie. With bills being thrown at her from all different directions, she’s going to need some cash fast and teaming up with Parker may be her best chance for wiping her financial slate clean.
With this role, Jennifer Lopez is continuing her efforts to rebuild her career. The once extremely popular Latina sex symbol gets her fair share of screen time here, but she does so with almost very little meaning within her character. I say that because Leslie is almost completely useless in the movie. I guess you can say she was the supposed “eye candy.” For what it’s worth, her performance in Parker is decent, but I do think they should have given Lopez a bit more to do. She fit the role, so just why not make her a little more important?
Regardless of how the creators of Parker decided to use Jennifer Lopez in her role as Leslie, most people who want to watch this movie came to see some action. It’s a selling point of virtually every Jason Statham movie that I’ve ever heard of, so I fully expected here myself. The action in this film is usually brutal and bloody, and almost all of it is entertaining to sit through. My only real complaint with the action in Parker is that there isn’t more of it. It’s starts off with a bang, but then it all slows down and the audience is only given a few more fights and shootouts.
The characters as a whole, also offer something worth watching. There are some interesting people being put it some situations that are either dangerous or maybe even awkward at times. Because of that, you get the action and a small amount of comedic elements that gives it this dark, but light-hearted aura. If you drain out the personalities that many of the characters bring into these situations, you’re talking about a movie that no one could sit through. And because of that, I have to give the actors some credit.
If and when you sit back to watch Parker, you have to go in realizing that you’re not getting a movie full of substance. You’re getting a movie that’s a tad bit long for what it is, but it’s also something that many action fans can get whatever it is that they like throughout its duration. In my opinion, it’s something that will be a “fly by night” type of flick. It won’t be remembered a couple of weeks after its release, so no one will say anything really bad or good about it.
From my point of view, I happen to think that Parker is at least a passable action flick with more than a few amusing aspects in it. I might be able to see myself watching this again one day, but it won’t something that I’d be looking forward to and I wouldn’t put my money down to go see it. Fans of Jason Statham will find it appealing, because he’s giving what he always gives. If you want action and are a fan of Jason Statham, you should probably check it out one day.
Director: Taylor Hackford
Clifton Collins Jr.
Film Length: 118 minutes
Release Date: January 25, 2013