Written by / 1/25/2013 / No comments / , , , , , ,

PARKER

year: 2013 cast: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte rating: ***
PARKER begins in somewhat familiar territory for fans of the Stanley Kubrick Film Noir classic THE KILLING. Instead of a racetrack we're at a fairgrounds where people race pigs, and there are a couple guys in clown suits instead of just one.

But the man to center on is dressed like a priest, and that would be action star Jason Statham as Parker, a tough cookie who, it turns out, is the most reliable in an odd assortment of thieves set up by his loyal girlfriend’s father.

Parker is a stranger to this crew that has Michael Chiklis as the temperamental leader, Melander. And although the heist is a success – a million stolen with each member promised two hundred grand… there’s a catch.

Instead of collecting his pay, Parker's told to put his money in a pot for an even bigger score. What’s any good maverick to do but decline this invitation? He’s left for dead and after a quick recovery, the rest of the movie has our hero suffering flashbacks and stalking sunny Florida, waiting for the group to reassemble for a big jewel heist.

Jennifer Lopez plays a frustrated working class real estate agent for the rich and cozy. She meets Parker, who’s undercover as a Texas oilman and potential buyer of a big house. This is a side-plot that takes away from the breezy nickel-plated fun and testosterone-soaked fist fights. Lopez’s periphrial input has little importance and her part seems tacked-on, although her role gets juicier the more vulnerable Parker becomes.

Despite our tightly wound antihero fending for himself, there's something to learn about teamwork: especially when there's no choice in the matter. And while there are no sparks between the Statham and Lopez, this is really about one thing: Parker going from thug to thug with a double-edged goal in mind, which leads to a somewhat anticlimactic faceoff in the villain's hideaway.

A time-filler bloodfest that plays out like a decent cable flick you watch at midnight, the only problem is it's made for the big screen. Either way, PARKER is lightweight entertainment that works despite a pulpy simplicity that might have been intentional.  

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