From The Transporter to The Expendables 2, Statham’s core fan base consistently shows up to support their favorite owner of the best ‘80s cocaine beard ever.
But if reviews for this weekend’s Parker are any indication, Statham fans will find their loyalty fiercely tested.
Parker, directed by Taylor Hackford (Ray), casts Statham as the titular character – a double-crossed thief looking to get even. Jennifer Lopez co-stars as a corrupt real estate agent who becomes Parker’s unlikely ally.
The film is based on a character from a series of popular pulp crime novels by Donald P. Westlake, and judging by the critics, audiences would be better served by picking up the book than heading to the theater.
Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
“[Parker’s] script, based on Westlake’s “Flashfire,” is pasted together with perfectly timed coincidences and miraculous recoveries. Nearly every choice, from the cheesy score to the jittery camerawork, suggests minimal ambitions. J.Lo’s role… would appear so demeaning even an unknown starlet might pass. (The memory of her fine performance in the infinitely superior Out of Sight hovers over this movie like an angry ghost.)”
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
“If you’ve ever wanted to see the camel that’s the result of that proverbial horse-building committee, check out Parker. If [the film] just focused on Parker and his bloody mission of vengeance, they might have wound up with an unspectacular but still exciting action movie; Statham, after all, does this sort of thing about as well as anyone on the big screen this decade.”
Christy Lemire, Associated Press
“Statham is stepping into a well-known persona. But he’s not exactly pushing himself outside his comfort zone; he’s on auto-pilot here, despite the obvious physical demands of the part.”
Chris Bumbray, JoBlo.com
“The menacing Statham seems ideal in a role previously played by actors like Lee Marvin and Mel Gibson, with Taylor Hackford, the director of Ray, behind the camera, this should have been a damn solid film. Instead, Parker takes its place as probably the worst Statham vehicle since his Jet Li team-up movie, War.”
Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter
“The picture is far from great, but it’s a serviceable B-movie with some A-list talent on a slumming expedition. Hackford’s direction is uneven… The script by John J. McLaughlin doesn’t have enough invention. There are a few neat plot twists, but more complications and surprises would have helped to sustain this two-hour movie.”
Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
“The essence of this grindingly violent movie can be summed up by what Parker says of his handgun to a terrified clerk at a check-cashing service: “It’s small, but it hurts.” Back in 1998, Ms. Lopez spent a lot of screen time… as a U.S. marshal in Out of Sight, which seemed phenomenally smart and funny at the time, and remains the gold standard for modern crime capers. Parker sets a tin standard for crime thrillers.”
Do you plan to see Parker this weekend? Watch Celebuzz‘ interview with J.Lo for Parker, then weigh in below in the comments.
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