Reviews

From Paris With Love

3

From Paris With Love

Rubilliant. It means ‘something simultaneously rubbish and brilliant’. Don’t bother checking the dictionary; we just made it up. We needed a new word to describe the oeuvre of Luc Besson and DoP-cum-director Pierre Morel.

If you’ve seen Taken (or The Transporter or War or…), you’ll know exactly what we mean. The French duo’s bullet-crazed actioners dispense with any layers of complexity that could slow things down. In fact, they’re kind of like the filmic equivalent of ’90s Swedish popsters Roxette, whose proud motto was: “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus”.

Of course, Besson and Morel know what they’re doing: Taken, the low-budget, Jack Bauer-esque actioner, raked in around $224m at the box office. From Paris With Love doesn’t veer far from that film’s template.

This time, the fish-out-of-water US agent sent to France is Charlie Wax (John Travolta), a triggerhappy one-man army who says things like “Wax on, Wax off” after he’s fed lead to another half-dozen goons. Travolta (and his stunt double) is too old and portly for the role, but just about gets by on charisma and comic timing.

If Taken was 24, Paris is more like 48 (Hrs) – James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) completing the odd couple as Wax’s reluctant partner. A desk-jockey aide to the US ambassador, Reece craves drama until he comes up against Wax’s “maverick ways”. Racing to stop a terror attack, the duo dash from set-up to set-up, Wax killing everyone, Meyers tutting.

Slowly they find a mutual respect and get a handle on who the real ‘big bad’ is (apparently, everyone killed so far were just middle men). You can see the ‘twist’ coming from around the fifth minute but it barely matters. The action is slick, the pace lickety-split, the visuals stylish. The whole thing’s rubilliant.
 

Verdict:

Travolta and Meyers do all that’s required of them in another Besson B-movie blow-out. No brain required, but to be fair, twice as entertaining as many films with double the budget.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • Siban1982

      Mar 2nd 2010, 20:34

      1

      Basically, it's as stupid as they come and it would have been enjoyable if it wasn't for the incredibly painful and poorly written ending, as well as Travoltas very odd take on a secret agent who seemed more like a careless gang member than a James Bond or Bourne alike character. As for Rhys Meyers, his genuine thespian campness isn't well hidden and unfortunately he doesn't at all come across as a strong heroic lead. In fact he feels more Inspector Clouseau than Ethan Hunt. Lastly, if there's a massive gun fight within a resturant in Paris, I'm pretty sure the cops wouldn't take very long to turn up and I'm also sure that they would actually turn up rather than not be seen at all. Whilst I enjoyed Taken and was excited about a sequel, after seeing this complete pap I'm now not so sure. Terrible stuff, I don't know what Total Film is thinking, they've basically become the Oscars rather than the BAFTAs.

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    • jaykays hat

      Mar 4th 2010, 5:46

      3

      Does exactly what it says on the tin. I didn't go in expecting great acting, great plot, stunning CGI, I didn't get any of that so I wasn't disapointed. What I did get was a rather cool John Travolta stealing every scene he was in, which wasn't hard due to the weak acting of evryone else in the film. I left my brain at the door, munched my way through a tub of pic n mix and enjoyed Mr Travolta killing every bad guy in sight with a smirk on his face and getting to say the immortal words 'royale with cheese'.

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    • dannynitro

      Mar 4th 2010, 11:35

      4

      Just awesomeness. Whoever doesnt get shot get's blown up. Exactly what I wanted from a no brainer action flick. Sure the plot is unoriginal and wishy washy but that wasn't what attracted me to the movie in the first place, the all out unrelenting action and Travolta's best performance in years doesn't let you down and holds your attention from start to finish. The only part of the film that's a bit 'meh' is the first 20 minutes before Travolta's character is introduced. In response to the first user review, who wants a Bond or Bourne in a film like this? That would have completely ruined it. The serious, suave, calm and collected secret agent is so dated and boring. The character of Charlie Wax is perfect and I would much rather watch a trilogy of Charlie Wax films than jason Bourne films. Also, Rhys Meyers isn't the heroic lead. Travolta is. Rhys Meyers plays aide to the US Ambassador who's main task involve switching number plates and planting bugs. He is effectively the tea boy of the secret service. He isn't supposed to emulate Ethan Hunt he is supposed to experience a character journey which he accomplishes well enough.

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      Mar 10th 2010, 22:52

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    • BoxerTom

      Mar 15th 2010, 21:24

      You could watch this film with the sound off and enjoy it more, the plot is as weak as the acting and the action is over the top, Travolta's character is far to in your face, load and he shoots everything (not what a secret agent is all about really) but if you want to see a film you dont have to think about then this is the film for you because who ever wrote it, directed it and acted in it was not thinking ether

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      Mar 25th 2010, 23:15

      3

      Fun action movie. Sort of like Rush Hour...without laughs or real enjoyment.

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