From Paris with Love does exactly what this type of movie should do. The plot is vague and empty, but one can get by when the characters actually bring just enough. Sure the flick encompasses the cliched elements of other buddy/action pieces, but it was actually entertaining. It may remind one of a Lethal Weapon at times, although not quite up to that level. And yes, John Travolta looks ridiculous but it meshes well with the script.
James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is the assistant to the U.S. Ambassador in Paris, France. He’s a bright young man and has a wonderful fiancee in Caroline (Kasia Smutniak). His true passion is to be a spy and he currently doubles as one. Except he’s the equivalent to the person that gets the coffee for the executives in the office. However, he’s about to get his big chance. The mysterious caller, gives Reece orders to team up with their top operative, Charlie Wax (John Travolta). Upon meeting Wax, Reece realizes that he is not the prototypical American spy. He marches to the beat of his own drum, in which Reece has trouble following along. As Wax takes out bad-guy after bad-guy, Reece realizes that they must stop a terrorist attack at the embassy where the President is visiting.
It’s a simple plot that never gets too deep or twisted, even at the climatic moments. Those climatic moments are fun to watch even though they are dragged out just a bit too long. The story doesn’t have time to stop to address why things are happening and the audience just has to roll with it. Which is just fine, since the antics of Travolta’s character can keep the audience’s attention. Fortunately, the script gets stronger as the 92 minute feature unfolds. It does get stronger, but remember, the bar is set really low from the beginning. Then again this is an action, so one gets exactly what they want out of this. Entertaining nonsense!
The shooting of all the action sequences were well done and the audience can process what’s happening on the screen. Some of these action flicks in the last seven years (i.e. Bourne movies) are chaos through the lens. We see the action start to take place, then the chaos hits for the next few minutes and then we have a camera shot of the aftermath. Well in this flick, one gets to savor the action sequences. They’re not over-the-top and lack innovation at times, but they do the job. In the end, you’re going to feel like you just watched a solid buddy/action flick from the 90s.
As mentioned, there’s really no rhyme or reason to why certain things are happening. They just do without much justification. The only characters that have their surface scratched are Travolta and Meyers. Basically, because everyone else in the flick are just used to up the body count. So if you’re looking for an elaborate set-up and reasoning, you may want to watch one of those Bourne flicks. if one wants something a bit retro and fun, then this is money well spent.
Overall, Travolta gets one through this flick with a character he just has fun with. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a fine actor, but can feel out-of-place at times. Dialogue isn’t dynamic, but everything seems to balance out in this buddy/action flick. The story isn’t going to stimulate one’s mind, but it will keep your attention once Travolta gets on the screen. From Paris with Love is just a fun, entertaining action-flick to the point where you may not mind seeing a sequel.
From Paris with Love is playing in all Tampa Bay area markets.