The truth is, I’m not big on action movies. Wait, don’t go! Although I’m not big on action movies, I still watch them sometimes, in hopes that I might I find something I like (I mean, who doesn’t love The Italian Job?). I think part of the reason I don’t love them is because it is such a love-hate genre, as in you either love them or hate them (similar to a genre I love: horror). They are in some ways formulaic, and there are always certain elements you look for and would be disappointed without (again, like horror). For that reason, I’m not going to do a standard review on Parker–it’s not about how convincing the acting is or how intricate the narrative is. I’m going to try to review this movie through the eyes of an action fan, picking through the pieces I think keep bringing them to these movies.
Although there are several, there isn’t a lot that’s memorable about them. There are tons of things I’ve seen before that they try to play off as clever–except one knife moment that’ll make you cringe–and this is coming from someone who doesn’t even watch action often.
Not much goes boom. There’s one explosion and it’s fine but not firey. Otherwise, there aren’t really any special effects or graphics in this movie. There weren’t any high-speed chases either. Although I don’t know much about stunts, there wasn’t much that was particularly impressive or memorable.
The hero (or anti-hero)
If you like Jason Statham, our contemporary answer to the action hero, that’s the biggest redeeming factor of this movie. Statham fans see Statham movies because they know what they’re going to get (trust me, my boyfriend has seen nearly all of them and will continue to). Statham plays the anti-hero (as seems to dominate action these days rather than the traditional hero) who will make you pay if you cross him. He’s take-no-nonsense, brash and determined. But he’s also a bit more complex, with a slightly-warped but set-in-stone moral code.
A chance to escape
Part of the fun in watching action movies is getting wrapped up in the ride. When the hero is seconds from getting caught but he’s nowhere near done the task at hand, your heart beats a little faster. When his loved one is at gunpoint and his odds seem lost, again, your heart beats a little faster. This movie didn’t really have that. I mean, it did a bit, but because Statham’s character is so tight-lipped about his intentions, you aren’t even really sure what he’s trying to do, so you aren’t sure if he’s succeeding or not.
As someone who isn’t a fan of action movies, I wasn’t into it. It needed to be something I hadn’t seen before, something with new tricks I couldn’t think up myself and with more complex characters. And yes, I do realize that Jennifer Lopez is also in this movie; there just wasn’t anything worth mentioning.
Through the eyes of an action fan, it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t particularly impressive. Statham was spot on, but it could have been much more entertaining. The plotline wasn’t anything special either.
Action fans and non-fans, what were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!
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