February 3, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 21°F


Review: Bland action movie flunks on the big screen

Director Taylor Hackford had a vision in mind with “Parker” but failed to deliver anything other than a watered-down and lackluster version of the quintessential action flick.

The movie’s protagonist is Parker (Jason Statham), a cool, composed thief with his own set of rules. When attacked and left for dead by his criminal associates, he is determined to enact violent revenge by hijacking their next heist. He is joined by the realtor Leslie Rodgers (Jennifer Lopez), who helps him locate his crew’s mission.

The movie has the mandatory one-liners, but their recycled quality and Statham’s uninspired delivery render them cliched. Neither Statham nor Lopez gave admirable performances, but they had limited material to work with. The script is weak and predictable with undeveloped characters and unnecessary dialogue.

The only commendable aspects of the film are the gritty fight scenes. Whether it is a five-person gunfight inside an SUV or a knife fight in a swanky hotel room, the violence is eye catching.

Though the majority of the movie is dull, Hackford knows how to film violence well. The bloodshed was emphasized by a fast-moving camera and the staccato fight choreography. The camera movements were clean and uncluttered as they followed the creative brutality. This was mildly entertaining, but the excitement was short lived. As soon as the savage scenes ended, the dull quality of the film resumed.

The film is 118 minutes long, but it could have ended 30 minutes earlier to save the audience from boredom. Hackford follows the action-movie prototype but still falls short of success. The bland cast performance and monotonous plot line makes this movie mercifully forgettable.

One star.

Uninspired plot and weak script undermines action in “Parker.”