Saturday, April 16, 2016

PARKER (2013)

Directed By: Taylor Hackford 
Written By: John L. McLauchlin 
Based On The Novel By: Donald E. Westlake (Under the name Richard Stark) 
Cinematography By: J. Michael Muro 
Editor: Mark Warner 

Cast: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins Jr., Bobby Canavale, Patti LuPone, Emma Booth, Carlos Carrasco, Daniel Bernhart

A thief with a unique code of professional ethics is double-crossed by his crew and left for dead. Assuming a new disguise and forming an unlikely alliance with a woman on the inside, he looks to hijack the score of the crew's latest heist.

While it works for the film. It's hard to believe Jennifer Lopez is only a helpful support and not a real love interest for the main character. Then again when the main character has a things for a 25 year old hen it might be hard to compete. Especially as his love interest already has a stake in this underground criminal world.

As even though Jennifer Lopez is the leading lady and given more screen time then is necessary to watch her be indoctrinated into the scheme and the simple tasks she must pull off. The filmmakers also try to dress her down as more dowdy to look more regular, but she still comes across as sexy.

The film is also strangely cast, as it has recognizable character actors. Especially in the rogues gallery of villains. Though unfortunately they are left with nothing much to do. Not given any characterization to set them apart from one another. As even Patti Lupone shows up as Lopez's mother who she lives with. That makes the films cast seem more prestigious for such the material or you at least think their character will mean something more to the overall story, unfortunately they don't. So that they are shiny wrapping, with my present underneath. It might be the name prestiege of the project and also Veteran Director Taylor Hackford’s involvement. Who is a long way from his RAY and AN OFICER AND A GENTLEMAN peaks

Here he seems somewhat interested but not intrigued by the film. Maybe as he isn't primarily an action or thriller director. Some of the bests seem to escape him and never truly become spectacular or noteworthy. More passable and ok.

I can't say I know him. I respect him as he is an inspiration and has reached out to his fan base and cultivated them and always seems sincere with the people who dig his work. I can never bad mouth him. I can say some of his work has been a disappointment personally to me, but again that is based on my taste. Like Woody Allen when it comes to his work I tend to prefer the early stuff. More the. Some of the later stuff. Though I haven't closed the door on him as a filmmaker and will always be interested in whatever project he is up to. I hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Though try to keep a positive attitude. Hoping for good reviews and somewhat say he is back to the old days. Look as he has said in the past he's not the best filmmaker. I have given my opinion at different times on my thought overall concerning his films and his legacy. Sometimes I wonder if it's just like THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS. When you discover them as a band. They seem to last for a certain amount of time, until you move on.

You still Listen but your intensity for them isn't as strong and while you might grow out of them. There is always a new generation who discovers them and pucks up where you left. Though you always are interested if they are mentioned.

The film tries to play more in thriller elements rather than action, but allows for a few scenes here and there of action. To let Jason Statham do what he does best. As he does have the talent to play this character. I just believe he would need a film in a different tone, stronger script and better direction to make the role really be able to stick and allow him to be seen in the role. Rather than just another action star

Due to his commitments to this film and WILD CARD, Jason Statham couldn't accept the lead antagonist role of Owen Shaw in FAST AND FURIOUS 6. He would instead play Deckard Shaw, the older brother of Owen Shaw, in FURIOUS 7.

The film never rises to the momentum it sets up so early. So that it is always on a slow boil. That even in the third act seems rather relaxed instead of exciting.

As the film goes through the motions it entertains, yet offers no surprises.

The action scenes are vicious and fun, but you have seen them all before. Not only of this tale, but kind of plot. You know exactly what is going to happen and how it goes. as the only dangers to Parker, really we never get to know them as soon they will be dead.

Not sure why Jennifer Lopez is in the film other then distracting the audience enough so that we never get to really know anything about Parker. As her role seems pretty throwaway or beefed up. As her role requires more of a damsel in distress vibe. Rather than anything really to do or play to any of her strengths. They also don't use her for eye candy. So that it feels like so many others in the cast. More here as name recognition. Even though she is a star in her own right and could be seen as slumming. Only luckily she isn't forced to do anything embarrassing or otherwise.

Luckily the film never gets boring or slow. It keeps moving so we never get a chance to focus on the hopes. It just is so basic it never stands out it has personality, that sets it apart or makes it feel special.

The first Parker film since author Donald E. Westlake's death in 2008. Westlake is credited under his famous pseudonym Richard Stark, which he wrote all of the Parker novels under.

This is the first adaptation of a Richard Stark/Parker novel to use the character name Parker. Although the following movies are based on the "Parker" novels, the name was always changed: POINT BLANK (Walker), THE SPLIT (McClain), THE OUTFIT (Macklin), SLAYGROUND (Stone) and PAYBACK (Porter). One would think this would be a bigger film. More of a legacy project that would have a bigger prestige and audience. Definitley stronger filmmaking. So that it wouldn’t seem just like another action film.

Basic direction by director Taylor Hackford doesn't help. As he is a journeyman director who has filmed many well received films, but just as he is successful. He then makes films such as these that seem more for hire work. Just A few years after making highly regarded films.

This seems more a film that begs to be directed by someone like director Walter Hill.


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