Bobby Steggert, Tyne Daly, Terrence McNally and Patti LuPone - 13th Annual Human Rights Campaign's Greater New York Gala at the Waldorf Astoria - Arrivals - New York, United States - Saturday 8th February 2014
Far better made than it has any right to be, this cheesy 70s-style thriller is given a thoroughly engaging kick by veteran filmmaker Hackford working outside his usual dramatic genre. It's predictable and far too long, but Hackford grounds everything in gritty reality, avoiding obnoxious effects work while indulging in entertaining innuendo and riotously nasty action sequences.
None of this is much of a stretch for the cast, and Statham's Parker is essentially the same character he always plays: a ruthlessly efficient, indestructible criminal with a conscience. After a gang of thugs (including Chiklis and Collins) betrays him following a fairgrounds heist, Parker miraculously recovers from his hideous injuries and heads to Florida to get revenge. He uses local estate agent Leslie (Lopez) to find the gang's lair, and she's instantly attracted to the way he fills out his designer suit. Living with her soap-addict mum (LuPone), Leslie is looking for a wealthy man to rescue her. And she's already too involved when she realises that Parker isn't who he seems to be.
There isn't much to the plot, which is packed with contrived twists and turns and never follows through the intriguing possibilities along the way. At least the film avoids the usual action cliches, as Hackford sharply orchestrates each fight sequence to make it both lucid and startlingly brutal. This earthy approach keeps things relatively believable, until Parker emerges with yet another serious injury that doesn't slow him down at all. Meanwhile, Hackford injects plenty of eyebrow-raising flirtation that keeps us smiling. Statham and Lopez may not be stretching themselves as actors, but they clearly have a lot of fun circling around each other like dogs on heat.
Continue reading: Parker Review
Parker is a skilled thief with a very specific moral code; never kill anyone who doesn't deserve it and never steal from those with little money. Other than that, he is brutal, doing anything it takes to seize his target along with his so-called loyal team. However, one day he finds that his accomplices are not the people he thought they were when they stab him in the back and leave him to die. As single-minded as ever, Parker assumes the new name and identity of Texas guy Daniel Parmitt and sets out to destroy his former allies for what they did to him seeking an unusual partnership with Leslie: a local resident of Palm Beach who has inside information on Parker's targets and agrees to help him despite having reservations about his plan to murder every last one of them and take the loot from their latest robbery.
'Parker' is a crime thriller based on the novel 'Flashfire' by Donald E. Westlake. It has been directed by the Oscar winner that is Taylor Hackford ('An Officer and a Gentleman', 'The Devil's Advocate') and written by John J. McLaughlin ('Black Swan', 'Hitchcock') and will be released in cinemas across the UK from March 8th 2013.
Director: Taylor Hackford
Continue: Parker Trailer
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