Movie Review: Parker

Before you see the movie, it is better to have some background information on Parker. Parker is the quintessential American anti-hero who features in the novels of Donald Westlake written under the name Richard Stark. Now, Taylor Hartford has adapted the novel named Flashfire for the screen and naming the movie with the name of main character. I have neither read the novel nor have heard about the novelist before. So, I will not be able to comment on the adaptation. As for the movie, Taylor Hackford succeeds in giving us a watchable thriller.

Parker is a criminal. Like all heroes walking on the opposite side of the line drawn by law, he has his quirks mostly to make the character more endearing. So he has a twisted sense of righteousness when it comes to the crimes committed by him and also the moral conduct of his partners. When the movie starts, Parker(Jason Statham) is double crossed by fellow criminals headed by Melander(Michael Chiklis) after a successful heist. As a result of the low standards of his partners where standards are defined by Parker himself, Parker loses his money but gains bullets in his body.

Waking up in the hospital penniless, Parker not only has to track his former partners in order to retrieve his share of money but also serve justice, yes you have guessed it right, by the standards defined by Parker himself. It is this journey that Taylor Hartford films in an entertaining way. Revenge, even when all the powers in the world stands against you, is a theme that will never go out of fashion. We all know Parker will succeed but we are not sure how. That is what makes the movie entertaining. The emphasis is not on action but on the search for Parker's partners. This is actually a relief if you look at the releases of Jason Statham, almost 2 movies every year. That is a whole of action in an year by one guy and a sure fire recipe for obsolescence.

Parker is an American. Why is Jason Statham playing a quintessential American hero? You will forget this question as soon as the movie starts. In all fairness, Jason Statham fits the character except the country of origin. Jason Statham has the screen presence to make us believe he can do when he is still recovering from wounds and broken ribs. He looks like an unstoppable force. Lastly, he also looks like the nut with the quirky sense of justice, honor, duty and what not! Michael Chiklis is a good choice as Melander because of his size. Parker should have a villain matching him. Although we look forward to the final confrontation between the two, it is over in seconds. If you are not attentive enough, you will miss most of the fun here. Jennifer Lopez plays Leslie Rogers, divorced, living with her retired Cuban mother and  struggling to make both ends meet. She likes Parker and interested in helping him for a share in the crime. She gets to crack some of the jokes in the movie and also amuses us by stripping to display her semi naked body. Nick Nolte plays Parker's mentor and confidante.

Go for it as this provides entertainment and a good diversion.

Language: English

Genre: Action

Rating: ***

For trailer, click here.