johnlink ranks FROM PARIS WITH LOVE (2010)

My movie watching in February has been down. Probably partly due to directing two plays at the same time. But, perhaps, more directly due to binge watching Justified (which is an AWESOME show… just finished season two). Anyway, I needed a movie. An entertaining movie. An action movie. So I picked FROM PARIS WITH LOVE. Which, it turns out, has a ‘story by’ credit for Luc Besson. Seriously… is that guy involved in 62% of all 21st century action films, or is it just me?


I watched FROM PARIS WITH LOVE (2010) on 2.18.15. It was my first viewing of the film.

The exposition of this film opens as you think it might, though there are some glaring detail issues. James Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a secret intel agent who wants to be a secret field agent. He is green, so his attempt to stick a listening device to a desk with some gum goes awry. Fortunately, he covers his own butt and finds a way to work around it. Never mind that his DNA is all over the gum. Or that, in a previous job, the super efficient secret organization hiring him wants him to covertly change license plates with a manual screw driver instead of an electric one. No matter. This is action movie entertainment, after all.

James is having a roof-top rendezvous after a tough day at work (sort of THE ROCK light, with Meyers in the Nic Cage role) when his bosses call and say they have an important job to do. He has to chauffeur Charlie Wax (John Travolta), but not to worry. This should be a simple driving job. Naturally, it turns out to be much more.

This is the sort of film where one character has a lot more information than another character. The audience is put in the position of the less knowledgable character, Reese, so that all of the crazy things Wax does seem down right criminal until they are put into proper context. This doesn’t disqualify a movie from being good at all, but it doesn’t work to particularly strong effect in FROM PARIS WITH LOVE.

The 90s throwback nostalgia is strong. This is a movie that grew up so much on Tarantino that John Travolta’s Charlie Wax talks about how much he likes a ‘royale with cheese’ when he gets a burger. This is an unflinching action film which has a huge body count and little regard for reality. And that’s cool, or at least it can be. But, once again, FROM PARIS WITH LOVE doesn’t really do anything to make us care all that much.

What this really is, then, is a mildly entertaining action film with little else going for it. The explosions and bullets are prevalent, and you can do worse than Travolta acting like he runs the world. It’s just too bad that he does it in a role that has to ultimately be a ‘good’ guy. He can only be unleashed so much when asked to keep to a moral code, even if the movie tries to trick us by withholding information until after Wax does something nutty.

There isn’t much else to say here. See it for some bloody action, but you’ll probably forget about it shortly seeing it. I’m already struggling to recall detail, and it has been less than 48 hours since it hit my eyeballs.




FINAL SCORE: 4.5 out of 10

~ by johnlink00 on February 20, 2015.

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