Movie Review: Parker

That two-week blogathon didn’t work out very well, did it?

No, no it did not, but I have quite a few things to write about. This review is but one. Also, how about that new profile photo?

In yet another Jason Statham movie where he yet again plays a man who’s good with guns, knives and women, Statham stars as Parker, a priest. Wait what?!

The opening scene shows Parker wearing the wardrobe and collar of a priest at the Ohio state fair, only to rob the place of over a million dollars with four compadres. Simple enough.

The gang’s so impressed with his ability to control the situation, they ask him to do another job with them, an even bigger one, but there’s a price: they all have to contribute the money they just ripped off for this next heist. As in the Transporter franchise, Statham doesn’t like things going out of the boundaries of the plan and so says no, which is where our conflict starts.

There’s plenty to talk about now, like this whole start-up sequence. It’s not bad. It’s a decent start for an action film and it drew some new surroundings for a familiar occurrence, like a robbery, to happen and make it seem not so familiar.

Then I see Michael Chiklis and I cringe. Fantastic Four will always be in the deep recesses of my mind. He will always be the Thing, the very dumb, ugly Thing that was a thing and nothing more. A large, terrible thing, but still just a thing. Not important at all. Therefore, when Chiklis’ Melander proposes this idea to Parker in the most flat and non-threatening way possible, I cringe a little more. Fantastic Four acting.

Chiklis can’t act, though I’m sure an overall shadeless character and an advertisement-length amount of time in front of the camera didn’t help either. On the other hand, commercials seems to be getting pretty long these days so maybe that’s not the correct phrase to use, but moving on.

Parker’s gonna go beat these former pals of his senseless after they left him for dead but first he needs to find out where they are, what they’re stealing and where they’re going to be afterwards because Parker wants to make some cash out of this, too. Still seems basic enough but can it hold the audience’s attention for two hours? Can it even run that long?

Apparently not, because in walks Jennifer Lopez. Now, Jennifer Lopez is one of the few people who came outside of the acting business that has the ability to act, at least in my opinion. Most musicians should stick to singing. However, this isn’t Lopez’s type of film so I’m unsure why she agreed to this role. Lopez thrills in rom-coms, not a dark action film and it shows because she’s so out-of-place in Parker. She doesn’t belong here and neither does her character, Leslie. A real-estate agent who’s practically bankrupt and living with her mother, talk about down on your luck. However, it’s hard to relate to Leslie’s predicament. A cop is clearly interested in dating her but she continues brushing off his advances. He never does anything questionable in character and seems to really care about her, yet she never seems to even consider it. Seems like a clear avenue to me, at the very least something to look forward to. What’s she looking forward to now? Failing at work, failing at having a social life?

It’s only harder to relate to Leslie’s depression because she’s Lopez. If a woman looks like that, she gets the guy, the job perks, the car and the everything-you-can-think-of. No one, and I mean no one, who has the appearance of Jennifer Lopez is having a tough time at work or is struggling to start a romance. It’s preposterous to even propose such an absurdity.

Which leaves us to ask, why is Lopez here and honestly, I don’t know. She serves as a subplot distraction as well as a handicap on both the character of Parker and on Statham. To find out where these “friends” of his are, Parker enlists the services of Leslie under the surmise that he’s looking for a vacation house, which she digs to find out is not the case.

Yet Leslie’s subplot, pity-party character becomes its own animal asking for its own spotlight even though it has no right to ask for such screen time, but it gets it anyway, for some reason. There’s no draw to her person or problem. She still lives in Palm Beach, one of the richest neighborhoods in the not just the state of Florida, but the entire country. Yes, she lives with her mother, but still. We’re talking about Palm Beach here.

I did some research. In Palm Beach, a median household income is $124,562. Naturally, Leslie didn’t make that, but still! One of the richest neighborhoods in the United States, according to a study done by Business Insider, is Everglades Club in Palm Beach. The mean household income is $467,000!

But yes, poor old Leslie. Let’s ignore the fine body she has, the charm, the weather that millions of Americans get to experience a few days a year but wish they could live in, the picturesque scenery and let’s not forget the beach. Poor Leslie. Bah humbug!

The daddling plot accentuates clear plot errors, like Parker consistently breaking into unlocked cars.

Uncertainty with the direction of the story’s noticeable and drags a lot in the middle while its initial tone is shredded and irreparable in the film’s final third, which can be categorized as a letdown and far too quick resolution.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (American BeautyGone GirlMulanGuardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the Apes)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young Guns)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(SnowpiercerThe FamilyWhen the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk DownRed Dawn(2012))

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (House at the End of the StreetThe RavenDead SnowRubberHansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (RageZoolanderThe Expendables 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: Retaliation)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (I, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (SabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmen)

My score for Parker: 61.

I had to put this one review from Netflix in here because it was just too funny:

“1 star for getting a middle-aged J-Lo into lingerie. 1 more star for a strong opening sequence. Minus 1 star for not just stopping there. This film is Terrible, capital T, as in Made for TV. Story is beyond contrived, the action makes The Transporter look like a documentary, the direction is Horrible, and the acting isn’t even high-school drama class. This might be right for the daytime soap-opera folks, but otherwise, avoid like the plague.”

Parker isn’t necessarily a bad film, but it’s just very meh. Jennifer Lopez is one of the few non-actors that can act, at least in my opinion, but the character she’s given here is one-key and off kilter. Statham’s Parker is forced to twiddle his thumbs while dealing with this pitiful real estate agent and the forced interaction compromises the tone the film originates with. Overall, it’s another miss for Statham.

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One thought on “Movie Review: Parker

  1. Dan O. says:

    Good review. Very silly, but something I also had fun with. Somehow.

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