From Paris With Love

2010-03-03 09:39
 
From Paris with Love
 
What it's about:

James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a desk jockey at the US embassy in Paris, with a sideline in low-level secret operations for the CIA. He is soon given his first high-level assignment and partnered with a brash spy, Charlie Wax (John Travolta) to track down and eliminate a terrorist ring in the city.

What we thought:


There's a reason why this skop, skiet en donner orgy from Taken director Pierre Morel ended up being called something as meek and misleading as "From Paris With Love" – Shoot 'Em Up was already taken. And, yeah, Shoot 'Em Up (in which Clive Owen played a sharp-eyed drifter who went around shooting anything that moved) was a rather stupid film, but in full knowledge of just how camp and silly it was, making it all the more enjoyable. From Paris With Love probably reckons it shares these qualities. How else to justify having John Travolta's bald and pasty look in the film so closely resemble the evil alien lord Terl he played in the godawful Battlefield Earth?

Yes, Travolta is sure to bring on a few bouts of sniggers as the smug, trash-talking alpha dog who dresses like he's on the frontlines in Afghanistan and is one stubby cigar away from being a one-man A-Team. It's not immediately clear if we're meant to take him seriously. Every pompous word from his mouth sounds like it was cribbed from Team America: World Police, that great claymation satirical comedy from the South Park guys, and while it keeps the mood light even as he dispenses of the 89th bad guy in a hail of bullets, Travolta's Charlie Wax is pure caricature. And you can just about see Travolta's stunt stand-in working up a sweat in the star's more challenging action scenes.

As his partner, Rhys Meyers has no choice but to play the whiny wife to Travolta's gung-ho GI Joe, as they race around Paris duelling with drug lords, then local hoodlums, then big-game terrorists, with the still-green Reece becoming increasingly frustrated with Wax's shoot-now-no-questions-asked methods. Reece also has to juggle his responsibilities to his French girlfriend Caroline (played by Kasia Smutniak) who has to be kept in the dark about his new job.

Luc Besson and Adi Hasak's script has no time for subtleties or shades of grey. Every baddie who gets his head blown off is either an Arab terrorist, Asian drug dealer or African gangster. To put it bluntly, as this movie does with relish, to be non-white is to be five seconds away from death by an American bullet. It's an appallingly sinister representation of the French migrant community that seeks to put diplomacy back a decade.

From Paris With Love is the equivalent of blunt force trauma to the head. As an action movie, it's frenetic, brainless and bloody enough to keep action junkies on a high as the plot blasts its way from one extreme situation to the next. Leave your brain at home and bring a helmet instead.


A frenetic, brainless, bloody and bigoted movie that works very hard to make Travolta look like an all-American action hero.

Arabia1981 2010/03/02 1:17 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Haha. You're brutal, man! I particularly liked, " To put it bluntly, as this movie does with relish, to be non-white is to be five seconds away from death by an American bullet". Arent all movies like that nowadays? hehe
TZM 2010/03/03 8:19 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Well done! :P I haven't watched this movie and I never will, but reading your review made made day! Who knows, maybe someone will be genius enough to dub it with some good satirical comments? ;)
lolreview 2010/03/03 8:22 AM
Are you reviewing the movie or giving a political breakdown on it? :P
Brandon 2010/03/03 11:59 AM
Watched it last week, thought it was nice, fun, brainless entertainment. Forgot about it an hour after the movie... but, while it was going, I had a decent enough time. Let's see it for what it is.
Rene 2010/03/03 12:46 PM
Oh grief. Looks and sounds revolting. Are those condoms in King Henry's hand? What's THAT all about, hey?
CTG 2010/03/03 3:00 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
why does every movie always have to be about race? i bet you if Denzel Washington played "Wax" and ran arround killing white gangsters, then nothing would be said at all! why cant people just see movies for what they are - entertainment! anyway, i saw 'from Paris' the other day. yes, its definatly a 'leave your brain at home' movie. But the action scenes are pretty good, and thats what you've paid for! The plot etc etc i found predictable, but in the end i enjoyed it for what it was. And of course, i enjoyed my popcorn even more!
Marnus 2010/03/03 4:16 PM
Poor Shaheema, calling the race card! Again! I'm so sick of it! Or maybe, deep down you want to be on the other side of the racial fence?
CM 2010/03/12 4:55 PM
I had the misfortune of going to see this movie - it is crap - don't waste your money!
NEXT ON CHANNELX
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.