Pair this movie with the Super Bowl commercials from this past weekend and you have a festival of misogyny. I guess ‘From Paris with Love’ wasn’t necessarily misogynist, I mean if female characters aren’t prostitutes, terrorists, or witchy Secretaries of State what else are they going to be? Honestly, if I had known that this film was done by the same people responsible of the horrendous ‘Taken’ I would have taken myself to see ‘Dear, John’ despite not my Nicholas Sparks allergy.
As with ‘Taken’, ‘From Paris with Love’ has so many holes in the plot, that one could drive a sensible SUV through them. If you are someone who enjoys senseless killing (as in body after body after body) then this might be the movie for you. The villains are all bad with their only known agenda is to kill folks through terrorism. Thank God we, Americans that is, have John Travolta fighting our good fights. I mean what’s more fun than a bald headed Travolta (I wonder if Bruce Willis was offered this part first) causing a scene with French customs agents all because they are bureaucrats doing their jobs – as in trying to make sure travelers don’t enter France with illicit contraband. Joining him for the experience of being an actual cloak and dagger spy is the ambassador’s assistant played by Henry VIII himself, Jonathan Rhs Meyers, who despite his various action sequences can’t quite overcome the fact that he looks like he should be front and center in a Prada ad. Side note, he didn’t start modeling actually until his acting career got started. The film goes out of its way to show that Meyers’ character (James Reese) as semi-incompetent, yet it pairs him with crazy gun happy Charlie Wax (Travolta). Perhaps, this would be delightful if the script was any better and there wasn’t a scene where Wax encourages Reese to sniff some cocaine while they are eating breakfast at the Eiffel Tower – because let’s face it, what we really want from our government sponsored spies is for them to be high on coke as they search Paris for terrorists.
With that said, I do have to admit that there were parts were Travolta seemed charming, but isn’t that usually the case with him? He really does seem like the sort of guy who would be a great neighbor. Of course, the best part of the movie is the homage made to ‘Pulp Fiction’ when one of the quirks of Wax is that he needs to be fed a “royal with cheese” after an eight-hour day of killing.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this film, either in the theater, Red Box, or late night cable. If one can even overlook the massacres ‘From Paris with Love’, it still has a horrible plot that you can predict it even before the previews are over.