“Civilized people need to follow rules,” says professional thief Parker (Jason Statham). “I just want to put things right.” He’s talking to 11-months divorced, West Palm Beach real estate agent Leslie Rodgers (Jennifer Lopez). She can’t make ends meet — she lives with her domineering mom (Patti LuPone), her career’s a bust, and her car’s been repossessed. “I need money,” she says, “to get out of town.” That’s the setup for this fast-moving, B-movie thriller.
Does Parker get his revenge — and money — from the crew that shot and left him for dead? Can the motley crew pull off a $75 million jewel heist? Will Parker get the jewels? Want answers? See “Parker.”
Jason Statham is Parker, tight-lipped, emotion-free, quick-thinking, tough-guy thief with a hard-boiled detective/cowboy loner code of ethics. He wants his money from the clowns (literally) who stiffed him. “I don’t want the money from you,” he says to father-figure, retired gangster Hurley (Nick Nolte). “It’s the principle — I want it from them.” Of Parker, Hurley’s daughter Claire (Emma Booth) says, “He is who he is. I can’t stop him.” Jennifer Lopez is Leslie Rodgers, down-on-her-luck real estate agent in West Palm Beach where there are “more billionaires per square mile than anywhere else.” Will Parker fall for her or stay true to Claire?
Others in the cast include Nick Nolte as Hurley, adviser to Parker, Emma Booth as his comely daughter Claire, Bobby Cannavale as smitten sheriff’s deputy Jake Fernandez, and Patti LuPone as Ascension, Leslie’s soap-opera-addicted mother. Bad guys are Michael Chiklis as Melander, crew-leader and, as subordinates, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins Jr. and Carlos Carrasco. Watch for Bobby Slaughter as Ben, Ohio State Fair security guard.
“Parker” is an action thriller, fast-paced and brutal. Taylor Hackford directs, from John J. McLaughlin’s screenplay and Donald E. Westlake’s novels, and keeps the revenge plot moving. No time to ask questions: Where did the crew get a West Palm Beach Fire Department rescue truck? Where did they get those uniforms? What about their scuba-diving equipment? How’d they get the sound system contract for an upscale charity auction? The movie’s about action and revenge, not plot. It’s take-away is Robin Hood: “We don’t steal from people who don’t have it,” says a crew member. “We don’t hurt people who don’t deserve it.”
Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, nudity, and sex, “Parker” runs 118 minutes. Its Ohio State Fair opening heist does not flatter our mid-Western lifestyle.
Statham’s tight-lipped “Parker,”
Lopez plays the chick,
Robbery and revenge —
Mindless action flick.