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John Travolta
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
Amber Rose Revah.
Pierre Morel.
Adi Hasak
Luc Besson.
Running Time
92 minutes

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From Paris With Love
The Taken director's blowing up the French capital, again

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An employee of the US ambassador to France (Rhys-Meyers) hooks up with an American spy trying to stop a terrorist attack on the city.

From Paris With Love
Don't let the title mislead you. This is not a romantic comedy in which the Eiffel Tower figures picturesquely. No, the title pays homage to James Bond for a semi-wacky, semi-serious spy wheeze in the long line of odd-coupled buddy actioners.

It’s from the production stable of Luc Besson, who came up with the story and doubtless fancies it to follow his Transporters, District 13s and Taxis as another fella-friendly franchise. Hence the directorial gig went to former Besson cinematographer-turned-director Pierre Morel, who rocked it out with District 13, made Liam Neeson an action man in Taken and knows what he’s doing very well enough to have bagged the new big-budget adaptation of Dune.

The plot is simultaneously simplistic and hard to follow, but almost incidental to the testosterone fumes. Taking down a Chinese drug ring leads to encounters with ethnically assorted crime gangs as secret agent man Wax (John Travolta) connects the dots to a Middle Eastern mastermind extremist and a suitably crazed climax. Thus we zoom through peppy, culturally-appropriate set-pieces, from shoot-’em-ups, bazookas, bombs and martial-arts tiffs, to a soupçon of free-running (although Travolta is too chunky for more than a rooftop-scampering nod to that) and an exciting spot of vehicular mayhem on the Paris Périphérique.

The character appeal is in the teaming of Travolta’s OTT, shaven-headed wild ’n’ crazy guy (whose craving for a “Royale with cheese” is one jokey reference to his CV) with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who, in a reversal from his usual flamboyant turns, is engaging as the strait-laced, methodical guy who plays chess, speaks Mandarin, canoodles with a beauteous, fashion designer Euro-fiancée (Kasia Smutniak) and somewhat naively doubles being the super-efficient personal assistant to the clueless US ambassador with a spot of espionage.

None of which has prepared him for the blood-spattering antics of his new partner-slash-maniacal mentor, although he’s a surprisingly good shot for a glorified office boy.

It’s absolute nonsense, of course, but does quite nicely as knockabout Friday night fun. We can smell a sequel if Travolta can be bothered.

Reviewed by Angie Errigo

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for From Paris With Love
Empire Star Rating

Great fun

Good romp through Paris with a totally wacky JT on top form. Lots of excellent action sequences, buddy buddy one liners and the usual high octane car chase that you can expect from this genre. Total tosh, if you are happy to watch a silly actioner, then you won't go far wrong. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by danielthompson99 at 21:44, 13 July 2012 | Report This Post

tp://]From Paris With Lovehen you look up "over the top action film" in a film dictionary you`ll probably find the synopsis from From Paris With Love. A thin plot wich allows you to put your mind to rest, don`t have to think to much about nothing and give in to the action that director Morel has in store for you. A special mention needs to go out to John Travolta who gives his coolest performance since Vince Vega (including his Royale with cheese). /b] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 21:36, 12 April 2011 | Report This Post

Excellent. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by reminn at 12:02, 03 November 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Awful

I should write a review of sorts but it really wasn't worth it. Awful, awful, awful. 1 star is being generous, at one point I was actually embarassed watching it.  ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jonson at 16:31, 17 August 2010 | Report This Post


**SPOILERS HEREIN** I am not sure if I just watched the same movie? 'The New John McClane'???!!! Yes Travolta does come out with a bunch of one liners, but they are terrible! The jokey burger thing, please... In fact both Travolta and Rhys Meyers were terrible in this movie. Also I am confused, was this meant to be a deep and meaningful movie about suicide bombers and the slums in Paris? Or was it meant to be a humorous buddy cop movie? Unfortunately I think the people that created thi... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by buttmonki at 09:58, 08 August 2010 | Report This Post



Empire User Rating

Posted by chrisdagnall at 00:27, 07 August 2010 | Report This Post

Great fun!

Johnny needs to go for a diet, but his karate in this age amazes me ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by batbhai at 09:02, 24 May 2010 | Report This Post

So over-the-top it becomes destracting

Those of you familiar with my reviews will know by now that I have no problem with over-the-top films. Sure, I mention it as a warning to whom it may be a turn-off, but it surely doesn't affect the final rating. But I have found my limit with From Russia With Love. Everything about the film screams over-the-top. I have serious doubt whether people similar to John Travolta's (perfectly on form here, by the way) character actually exist and how someone like Rhys-Meyers' one could go through all t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by djphilips at 09:51, 10 April 2010 | Report This Post

Did we all watch the same film here?

Usually the Empire fan reviews result in a mix of opinions but it often boils down to one very similar to that of Empire’s own verdict. However, this time Empire has said that it was pretty ridiculous but at least good fun, whilst everyone else is saying that it’s the best thing since Die Hard? God help us all. Between Travolta’s joke of a character and Rhys-Meyers worse acting performance to date, this film really couldn’t afford to take itself seriously. At all. And wh... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The Fanatic at 15:17, 17 March 2010 | Report This Post

This Better Than Taken!? ARE YOU GUYS HIGH!??

At the risk of stoking an old fire........ this is from the same directer of Taken.... and Taken was given 1 star on here..... and this pile ot utter crap was given 3 stars....this film was 3 times better than Taken!??? not even close!! Travolta has become a bad joke, a parady of a once decent actor, and isn't fit to lick Liam Neeson's boots.... Yet again Empires reviews leave me jaded... awesome movie news sections but consistantly awful awful reviews :'-( ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by arkhams_finest at 14:23, 12 March 2010 | Report This Post


I enjoyed it but did, rather strangely, seem to take itself a bit too seriously in places, namely the ending. However it was entertaining and the world needs more films with Travolta hamming it up whilst killing people. ... More

Posted by Timon at 16:15, 07 March 2010 | Report This Post

"if Travolta can be bothered" What does this mean, exactly? That he's lazy? ... More

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Posted by UTB at 21:04, 05 March 2010 | Report This Post

RE: The New John McClane

Highly enjoyable throwback to the action movies of the 80's. 4 stars ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by skeletonjack at 20:49, 05 March 2010 | Report This Post

The New John McClane

Travolta kicks ass with hilarious one liners and a coolness not seen in a character since John McClane in the Die Hard series, if you loved that charecter than this is a must see, had me either thrilled or chuckling away to myself from the moment Wax appears, just live with the slow 15-20 minute opening and you're in for a blast. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by crymsonnyte at 15:20, 03 March 2010 | Report This Post

Not the best script, but pretty damn decent

The plot strays alot, and it is hard to follow the script, but this film will not disapoint. This is basically 'shoot em up' with Cocaine and more comedy. Yeah, you heard right; cocaine. One of the characters tags along a vase full of high purity coke for 1/3rd of the movie: this is just One of those rediculous elements in this movie. Travolta is badass as usual. Basically a Bond spoof meets 'shoot em up.' If you like serious movies; this is not recommended. ... More

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Posted by JaCk794 at 16:41, 27 February 2010 | Report This Post

Contains Violence Yeah Boy!

It is true the plot is both simplistic and hard to follow. Contains some shocking violence and dark humour, also slightly racist in parts but altogether entertaining. Wax (Travolta) is the best thing in this film. I give it three and half stars. "YEAH BOY!" ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bighousewill at 16:31, 27 February 2010 | Report This Post

Contains Violence Yeah Boy!

It is true the plot is both simplistic and hard to follow. Contains some shocking violence and dark humour, also slightly racist in parts but altogether entertaining. Wax (Travolta) is the best thing in this film. I give it three and half stars. "YEAH BOY!" ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bighousewill at 16:31, 27 February 2010 | Report This Post

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