Movie Review: From Paris With Love (John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers (2010)

Posted: November 14, 2012 in Drama

James Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) has a pretty cushy life.  He is an assistant to the US ambassador to France, he lives in Paris, and has a beautiful French girlfriend named Caroline (Kasia Smutniak) Reese is bored with his job, he wants to be a spy.  Through a shadowy phone contact, Reese meets an American spy named  Charlie Wax (John Travolta) Charlie is on the trail of Pakistani terrorists laundering money to fund their next terrorist attack.  Charlie’s a bit of a loose cannon, doing things his own way, tasting some of the coke he steals, having sex with hookers from Pakistani pimps.  But while Charlie’s scoring with a prostitute he notices Reese’s girlfriend Caroline in the same set of dingy apartments.  Reese doesn’t give it a second thought, mostly because he is trying to escape from the terrorist infested apartment before it blows up.  Reese and Charlie figure out that the terrorists are going to attack an international Women’s conference in Paris, can the stop the attack before it happens?

This is the type of action movie that gives action movies a bad name.  It features the flimsiest of plots, no backstory, no exposition, and tons of mindless action and explosions, except for one sequence, the action is very run of the mill. Like a pale imitation of a legitimate American action film. There’s a plot twist, but it’s so easy to see coming, I suspected it may scenes before it was revealed. It’s supposed to be a movie filled with funny, tongue in cheek humor, but Travolta’s prodigious overacting ruins any chance this movie has to be the kind of buddy movie it intends to be.  He chews scenery, and everything else that’s not nailed down. Travolta’s dialogue is cheesy on purpose.  He tries to coin a catch phrase, “Wax on Wax Off” and stops after one attempt.  Travolta even tries to resurrect his  famous “Royale with Cheese” line from Pulp Fiction.  Tarantino ought to sue Travolta for stealing a classic line and sticking it in this moribund piece of dreck.  On the bright side, Rhys  Meyers does a great American accent, and is the only actor worth watching in the movie.  I can see him thinking, “How did I end up here?” Kasia Smutniak is pretty good eye candy, with a name like Smutniak, she better be.

From Paris With Love.  C’est La Vie.

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