From Paris With Love: reader review
Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays James Reece, a personal aide to the US Ambassador in France, who has aspirations of becoming a Special Forces agent.
His chance arrives when he receives orders to collect loose-cannon American agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta) from the airport and become his partner. Whilst excited about the opportunity this presents, Reece has no idea about the thrilling mission he is about to embark on and just how big an impact Wax is going to make on his previously peaceful existence.
Luc Besson (writer) and Pierre Morel (director) have developed what seems to be a very effective formula from ‘Taken’ and have not strayed too far from it in ‘From Paris With Love’ which is set to be another box-office hit. The new-look John Travolta first appeared in the re-make of ‘The Taking of Pelham 123’ and his character in ‘From Paris with Love’ has not altered that much. He looks terrifying and fearsome with his facial hair and rough garb. Travolta’s natural charisma as a great actor is what really makes this movie; he brings both the action and the comedy with quips such as;
Rhys Meyers: “How many more do you think there are of them?” (on discussing a Chinese gang they encounter...)
Travolta:”Last census...about a billion.”
Travolta has played many roles that require an air of menace (particularly as a villain) in films such as Swordfish, Faceoff and Broken Arrow and his streak of ruthlessness is what makes him so perfect for this kind of role. He brings this to ‘From Paris With Love’ and just like that you’ve got a character who you would definitely want on your side in a fight. This leaves Rhys Meyers to take up the role of the straight man in the duo which he does very efficiently.
This film gets by on Travolta looking cool and using the ‘M’ word a lot whilst shooting people from an assortment of ethnic backgrounds. That’s not to say that this doesn’t make it a good movie, and with all the action this film is very entertaining, yet it lacks substance.
Fans of Travolta will appreciate his craving for a ‘Royale with Cheese’ whilst the irony of the title ‘From Paris With Love’ will not be lost on James Bond lovers. Cheesy lines such as “Wax on, wax off” (spoken after Wax has just destroyed a gang of thugs) are also a tribute to Bond and the comical element in this movie is pretty well done. Scenes such as Reece carrying round an ornate Chinese vase full of cocaine and then casually snorting it on the Eiffel tower are bound to get a laugh. The action itself is frequent and violent, with the gunshots as brutally loud as those in ‘Public Enemies’.
To conclude, ‘From Paris With Love’ is fast-paced and thrilling. Coupled with its short, quippy dialogue, this film is vastly entertaining and perfect for a fun night out that won’t challenge your intellect but will definitely leave you looking forward to the hinted at sequel.