From Paris With Love is director Pierre Morel’s third feature film, following the likes of District B13 and the sleeper hit Taken. Unlike its predecessors, the film concentrates more on the guns, explosions, and thoughtless action – rather than the solid storyline and dialogue. And the great thing is — it doesn’t even matter.
Reece, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, is the personal assistant of the American Ambassador in Paris, France. But he want’s more than to just be someone’s right-hand man. So Reece takes up side work, flipping license plates for undercover operations – and even planting listening devices in the offices of political targets. But still, Reece yearns for his big assignment. Before he can wish upon a star — enter a bald-headed, loud-mouthed, gun-toting, hardcore combat export Charlie Wax. Played by John Travolta, Wax is Recce’s new partner for just the mission he has been waiting for – and his ticket into an elite club of special agents.
Reece is first given the task of getting Wax through French Customs. Right from the start, this leads into a pretty funny scene involving Travolta’s character trying to smuggle energy drinks into the country. From there on, it is action all the way. Wax is the ‘shoot-first, ask questions later’ type of agent – but what makes the character appealing is that he is smart. Wax may seem like a hard-headed brute that only knows how to blow things up (which I might add he is quite great at doing), but he is an extremely talented agent. This leads to some pretty great action sequences, in the vein of Liam Neeson’s character in Taken. Reece on the other hand is ‘by the book,’ always making sure what they are doing is official business. This is where most of the humor is interjected, in their ‘good cop, bad cop’ relationship. But Reece starts to open up after working with Wax, and the two of them make a pretty good team. But in the end, it is Travola who steals most of the spotlight – as he completely destroys anything and anyone who gets in his way.
Visually, the film’s action scenes are very good – which can be attributed to the director’s experience in the genre. Morel has worked on movies like Transporter, Taxi 2, and WAR before directing ‘B-13’ and ‘Taken’ – so he has a keen eye for fast paced action scenes and car chases. There seems to be a trend in these movies – the main character is the epitome of someone you don’t want to mess with. Travolta’s character ‘Wax’ is a one man army, so to speak, taking out anybody who comes between him and his mission. This is very similar to Jason Statham’s character in Transporter – and well, pretty much any other character he plays. And it makes for a fast paced, high intensity action movie.
Sure, you get your fill of corny lines – mainly executed by Travolta. But what else does anyone expect? Surely you can’t go into this movie thinking that it is going to be up for best screenplay next year. The fact is, From Paris With Love is a movie that you don’t have to think too hard about. The film is a lot of fun, and has some great action scenes – interjected with some humor and a few good twists. Classic Travolta is back, in the form of ‘Caster Troy’ in Face-Off. Sit back, relax, and get ready for an hour and a half of fun.
From Paris With Love is a B-