'Parker' Review: Statham Fun, J. Lo Forgettable in Overlong Actioner

Statham and Lopez may make an attractive team, but that doesn’t mean they make an exemplary action duo.

“Parker” is based off of the bestselling novels by Donald E. Westlake; Jason Statham plays the titular character, who Mel Gibson played in 1999’s “Payback” and Lee Marvin played in 1967’s “Point Blank.”

Parker (Statham) is a thief who was double-crossed by his new crew and left for dead. After a family finds Parker on the side of the road and saves his life, he then sets out to seek revenge on the group of thieves. Through the criminal grapevine, he discovers that the group is in Palm Beach, planning a multi-million dollar robbery. While in the city of palm trees and glamour, Parker meets real estate agent Leslie (Jennifer Lopez), who uses her knowledge of the area to help him find the thieves.

“Parker” could have been a better action flick if it had better dialogue (with much less from Lopez) and editing. Directed by Academy Award nominee Taylor Hackford (“Ray”), the film runs two hours long and the lead-up to the climax is unfulfilling and slow. It needed to be 20 minutes shorter.

Jason Statham proves he can still lead an action film and kick a lot of butt, but what in the heck was J. Lo doing in this movie? Besides the obvious, her compensation, which I’m sure, is pretty major; the dancer-singer-actress may have been given one of the most boring parts of her life here. There is one particular scene near the end, where her character finally gets to do something, but after watching the film, I questioned why they even needed her character in the first place.

Statham is fantastic in the action scenes, which are brutal, bloody and violent. There is one scene in particular where a knife goes through his hand but the fight between he and the bad guy goes on for another few minutes. It’s not a film for the faint of heart, but action movie buffs will definitely get a kick out of Statham’s fight choreography.

Lopez’s character Leslie is so unlikable and unnecessary in the plot; Parker seems knowledgeable enough to find his targets on his own, and Leslie offers nothing but panic attacks and lots of blabbering. She redeems herself, only a little, in the climax of the film, and if her character had that much stamina throughout the entire story, it would have been a whole lot more fun.  

The action sequences in “Parker” are jaw dropping and excellent, but they are too scattered throughout the excessively long film. Statham fans will most likely give the film a thumbs up, while J. Lo fans may end up wanting their money back. 


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