Advertisement

Film Review: A graphic take on 'Parker'

January 26, 2013|By Andy Klein
  • Jason Statham as Parker in Taylor Hackford's crime thriller "Parker."
Jason Statham as Parker in Taylor Hackford's crime… (Courtesy of FilmDistrict )

Among hard-boiled fiction fans, Parker (no first name) — the protagonist of more than 20 novels credited to Richard Stark (one of the many pen names used by Donald E. Westlake) — is an iconic figure. In films, he has been portrayed, with different names and various degrees of faithfulness, by no less than six actors — Lee Marvin, Jim Brown, Robert Duvall, Anna Karina (sort of), Peter Coyote and Mel Gibson, as (respectively) Walker, McClain, Macklin, Nelson, Stone and Porter. Jason Statham is the first on-screen Parker to be called Parker, which may be one reason Taylor Hackford's new film is proudly named (you guessed it) ... “Parker.”

The movie opens with a nearly 20-minute heist sequence, in which Parker and four others knock over a county fair. The plan is executed less than flawlessly, and Parker resolves never to work with the same group again. They, unfortunately, need all their loot (including Parker's share) to set up their next, way bigger job, so they leave Parker by the side of the road without his money, but with a couple of seemingly fatal bullet wounds instead.

Advertisement

Amazingly he manages to stay alive. This is no spoiler, since you really don't think they'd kill off the title character in the first 20 minutes, do you? He goes on a crusade to get his money back. His betrayers are heavily mob-connected, so Parker would do better to shrug the whole thing off and find a new heist. But it's not just the money at stake. It's Parker's sense of righteousness ... the principle of the thing.

On the way to his settling of the score, he encounters Leslie (Jennifer Lopez), an unsuccessful real estate agent who lives with her mom (Patti LuPone). (Lopez fans should be prepared to wait a full 35 minutes before she shows up.) She puts the moves on him. Of course he's tempted — I mean, it's JLo, after all — but he's happily married to the daughter (Emma Booth) of an old colleague (Nick Nolte).

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles
|
|
|