Directed by Taylor Hackford
Starring: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins, Jr., Nick Notle
Runtime: 118 Minutes
If there’s ten films worse than Parker this year, then it could be a long year for cinema. A failure is just about every facet of cinema, Jason Statham’s newest picture can’t hold a candle to even some of his lesser efforts like Transporter 3 or War. In those films, it at least felt as if the filmmakers were trying. Parker is a train wreck of the worst kind, as everyone seems to phoning it in.
The first culprit in this cinematic murder is director Taylor Hackford. More of a journeyman director than anything, Hackford’s shown talent over his career. Here, he’s bored. He tries to emulate an early 2000’s thriller, but it feels as though he studied more Hollywood Homicide than he did Man On Fire. There’s nothing spectacular in Parker, not that Hackford is giving an effort to make something worthwhile of the movie.
He’s not helped by the script, penned by John J. McLaughlin. McLaughlin graduated from school that taught him how to properly format screenplays, because they surely didn’t teach him how to write good screenplays. Characters who would serve purpose to the plot just show up whenever the script needs them to, then disappear without a trace. The one character who serves zero purpose in the script, Jennifer Lopez’s Leslie Rogers, gets the same amount of screentime Jason Statham does, and her character does nothing. Why is she here? She’s certainly not the love interest, as it’s established Parker has a girlfriend within the first thirty minutes.
Perhaps she’s only thrown in because Jennifer Lopez was available, and someone in production thought it’d help the movie to have her in there. It’s tough to imagine anyone would hire her for her dreadful acting that’s on display here. We don’t care about her character, and when it’s time for her to play the damsel-in-distress role, one hopes Parker will actually have the stones to kill her off.
That would mean Parker would actually do something right, and it’s deadset on torturing its audience. It’s a shame, because Jason Statham seems to be trying. If there’s one thing this movie does right, it allows us a hilarious scene in which Statham’s Parker has to pose as a Texas business man. Aside from the comedic genius of Statham in a huge cowboy hat, the film allows him to try his Texas accent. It’s insanely awful, but the film plays it serious, so that it feels like something you’d find in a Tommy Wiseau film.
I’m typically a fan of Jason Statham, and have been since his debut in the two Guy Ritchie films (Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch,) but Parker does everything it can to make sure one hates it. Awful in every sense of the word, the only revenge that should be sought is by movie goers who decide to see this picture this weekend. Terribly edited, scripted, directed, acted, and everything else that makes a good film, Parker should be avoided like the plague.