From Paris With Love Review: I See London, I See France…
For a long time, the OTB team have had a question on our minds. Why hasn’t John Travolta fired his agent?
In between passable comic turns, there are just bizarre choices listed on his CV. Deep down we know he’s a good actor, so we were once again collectively dismayed to see his shiny bald head on the poster for From Paris With Love. But in the end this apparently stricken movie wasn’t too bad.
Travolta plays Charlie Wax, a wildcard CIA special-ops agent who gets partnered with straight laced Reese (Jonathan Rhys Myers) to stop some terrorists blowing up half of Paris. But Reese struggles to adapt to Wax’s unpredictable methods and anyway, he’s just trying to make it back to his girlfriend, Caroline.
This movie is basically the opening sequence of Team America; brash Americans blowing up Paris, shooting everything that moves and spouting utterly ridiculous dialogue.
But if relatively dumb action movies are what you’re looking for then you’ll hit the jackpot with this.
To be fair, it isn’t completely without a brain; this is no Bourne Identity but it’s clear that if more effort had been put into the dialogue, it wouldn’t be too far off. Mostly it was just the constant ‘Hey I’m an American, mother******!’ rants from Travolta that let the movie down though. The action scenes are fun and steadily improve as the film – which turns out to be more serious than the trailer indicates – continues.
Myers and Travolta roll along nicely together; I forsee a sequel and for once, I wouldn’t really mind seeing it. Their chemistry isn’t bad and aside from Travolta hamming it up a bit in the beginning, it was a nice pairing. Though there was a bizarre moment when for some reason the script called for Charlie Wax to request a Royale with cheese. Geddit? Pulp Fiction? That was his thing…Exactly. It didn’t bother me too much but it was an unnecessary nod at a far superior film.
Brought to us by Taken’s director Pierre Morel and writing team Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen, the film feels like a real mix of Hollywood and European cinema. Sex and cool fight scenes are waving the flag for France while terrible dialogue, drugs, terrorism and an ethnic minority-heavy deathcount do the same for the US.
An enjoyable 90 minutes but despite the amount of explosions, it’s not going to blow you away.