“It’s John Travolta, so you knew it was going to be good,” commented one young man coming out of a midnight showing of the movie star’s newest film, “From Paris with Love”. While John Travolta’s name is not always synonymous with a good film, (anyone see “Old Dogs”), this time out it’s the correct assessment.
In fact, what helps makes this film enjoyable is John Travolta and the character he plays, Charlie Wax. You can’t help, but to like Charlie the first moment we meet him in a Paris customs office. James Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is there to pick Charlie up for an assignment. What that assignment is exactly, James does not know, and neither does the audience. James has always dreamed of getting the call to move up in the spy game, and this is his first time out playing in “the majors”. James finds himself in a classic “be careful what you wish for” scenario. The case he and Charlie are working on keeps getting bigger and bigger until they discover that terrorists are loose in Paris and it’s up to these two unlikely pair to stop them.
The film stakes the claim of being the first big action film of 2010. There has not been an all out action flick in the theaters for some time, but this film makes up for that drought. You want gunfights? There are plenty of those! Hand-to-hand combat with baseball bats and knives, car chases and races against time, “From Paris with Love” has it all.
The movie is directed by Pierre Morel whose last film, “Taken” with Liam Neeson, was a great action hit. Those who have seen “Taken” will know that Morel likes to have his films be about more than just the action. He wants the film to contain characters audiences can get behind and enjoy. The movie does not start off with a bang, but instead let’s the audience get to know James before he meets up with Charlie and the guns start blazing! Pierre is a director who not only knows how to film an action sequences, or sometimes help build tension with a simply tracking shot, but also knows how to get a strong performance from all his actors. It’s clear John Travolta relishes playing this character, and he has a lot of fun up on the screen.
The film is not without its flaws, some of which cannot be discussed without spoiling the movie. It’s not too difficult to see where the story is going, and some of the twists are not so surprising. Those looking for a mindless action may or may not be disappointed to learn that the film is not so mindless. Overall, though, the movie is a solid entry into the action genre. The movie is rated R for strong violence, language, drug use, and brief sexuality.
For more info: http://frompariswithlovefilm.com/.