Parker  (2013)    27/100

Rating :   27/100                                                                     118 Min        15

This begins as a fairly decent action/revenge pic, as we see Jason Statham take part in a robbery gone awry. Unfortunately, the filmmakers have decided to harken back to the action flicks of the nineties where many, many films tried to unsuccessfully appeal to both sexes by having a completely hopeless damsel in distress appear amidst the otherwise testosterone fuelled carnage. Here, this unhappy role is embodied by a screeching, meddlesomely vain nobody, played by Jennifer Lopez, who seems to exist as the very antithesis to the pace of the film hitherto. Her earthly woes of maybe losing her large car because her sales job isn’t going so well, are contrasted with the several bullets Statham has had injected at close range and the mortal peril he and his loved ones have been placed in. Needless to say the lady generally just gets in the way and functions primarily as a, hopeful, box office draw, to the complete ruination of the entire endeavour. It would be interesting to know if her character is quite as pointless in the Parker novel, ‘Flashfire’, the film is based on. This is not the first big-screen adaptation of one of the series of books, from late author Donald E. Westlake, but it is the first to use the character’s name, and it is unlikely Westlake would have been happy with that, or the final product, as he had always withheld the rights to Parker’s name unless someone was willing to produce adaptations of the entire series. It’s an opportunity to begin a franchise gone begging, and a big disappointment from established director Taylor Hackford (‘Ray’ 04, ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ 97, ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ 82).

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