Home News TV Listings Movies Music Video Photos Radio Book Club Life & Style

Movie Review

Parker

Reviewer Rating
User Rating

Director: Taylor Hackford

Starring: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Michael Chiklis, Emma Booth

Duration: 118 minutes

Certificate 16

1 of 3 Parker has the word franchise running through it like a stick of dynamite
Parker has the word franchise running through it like a stick of dynamite
2 of 3 Heroic but violent
Heroic but violent
3 of 3 Chiklis makes a good dumb-but-nasty bad guy
Chiklis makes a good dumb-but-nasty bad guy

Jason Statham is Parker, a taciturn thief with a talent for big heists and a high moral code. "I don’t steal from the poor and I don’t hurt people," he grinds out from under designer stubble and his eyes go all flinty. Just as well, really, because the poor don’t got no money and violence is just so messy.

We’re not sure how this all fits in with the opening sequence of this serviceable thriller from Taylor Hackford as we see Parker and gang raiding the takings at the Ohio State Fair.

Clearly this is high-minded revenge for the massive turnout for Mitt Romney last November. Anyway, Parker’s good, real good but when he refuses an offer from the none-too-bright thugs he’s just worked with to join them in another heist, they relieve him of his bounty and leave him for dead at the side of the road.

Clearly this is a big mistake. For a start it breaks Parker’s moral code. "It’s not about the money," he grinds out from under his designer stubble and his eyes go all flinty again. What follows is a well-paced and ultraviolent revenge flick with colourful sorties to New Orleans and the Florida Keys where Parker, in pursuit of his betrayers, poses as a Texan oil baron and hooks up with a down-on-her-luck local realtor played by Jennifer Lopez.

Nick Nolte is Parker’s mentor and he’s a grizzly old goat who commands every scene he’s in while Lopez, who hasn’t made a decent career choice since Out of Sight, is very likeable as the sassy and sexy accomplice.

It has some of the ratcheted-up tension of an old school thriller and it's no surprise that Parker is based on a novel by Donald E Westlake, the pulp writer who provided the source material for John Boorman's peerless Point Blank.

Like one-name bad asses of yore, we hope to learn in an upcoming sequel that Parker’s first name is Marmaduke or maybe Timothy. Because believe me, there will be sequels, lots of ‘em – Parker has the word franchise running through it like a stick of dynamite.

Alan Corr

add your own comment
User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use