Parker Review

The second movie on our roster is the Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez movie, Parker.  Like the last one, Rise of the Guardians, this movie is also based on a book.  This time it’s Richard Stark’s Parker series of crime dramas; particularly, I’m told, the 19th in the series known as Flashfire.

You might not immediately recognize it, but Mel Gibson’s character of Porter in Payback (1999) is actually supposed to be the same guy as Statham’s Parker in this movie.  Payback is based on the first book in the series, The Hunter; but they both have very similar stories in a way.


Parker gets betrayed and screwed out of the money from a heist and must go after his former colleagues to get his money back.  The main difference is that Mel Gibson’s movie sucked and this one’s not that bad.  Not to mention, as sad as this sounds: Statham is a better actor than Gibson.  And, of course, much better in a fight scene.

Parker also has a much more interesting, and sensible, story than Gibson’s Payback did.  It’s still a cut and dry action film, complete with a rapy striptease by Jennifer Lopez and an obligatory shower scene with a naked Statham and Emma Booth who plays his girlfriend, Claire.

Ladies, we all know this is why you watch his movies.

Ladies, we all know this is why you watch his movies.

Unfortunately what really makes this movie better than just a series of scenes wherein Jason Statham beats the unholy shit out of a bunch of people is Jennifer Lopez’s goofiness.  She plays a smart and feisty rookie real estate agent down on her luck and looking for either a big sale to get a good commission on or a guy with a big wallet to fall in love with her.  She’s resourceful and smart, but in the end kind of causes more trouble than she fixes.  Even so, the dialogue between Lopez and Statham, Lopez and her mother, and Lopez and the local cop who has a crush on her are the high points of the story, really.  Although Statham does have a few good parts and he certainly does play a good Anti-Hero in this.

All in all the movie was better than I expected thanks to Lopez and the interesting dialogue.  And it’s always nice to see Clifton Collins, Jr.; although anytime I see him in a movie I always gasp and say, “Look, it’s Corporal Aguilar from The Last Castle!”  Because that’s one of my favorite movies.  This movie also reminds us that Nick Nolte is old as hell; he plays Parker’s father-in-law.


Of course with any Statham movie worth seeing there’s going to be some fight scenes.  The fight scenes in this movie are all gritty style of fighting, with a few shoot-out scenes thrown into the mix.  Don’t expect a bunch of flashy moves, but do expect copious amounts of blood and grappling fisticuffs.  All in all it’s a pretty good bit of fighting to it.  Except that Statham is on the verge of death for most of the movie; or rather he should be, because he loses the equivalent of about sixteen pints of blood through the whole affair.  And the whole movie only takes place in like the span of a month, maybe two.  So apparently Jason Statham is playing a dual role as Wolverine, pretending to be some British thief named Parker.

All in all it was worth sitting through, but unless you’re a super Statham fan you can probably wait for the DVD.


No, seriously, Nick Nolte looks like he’s in his nineties.  A buff nineties, but still…


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