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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Jason Statham
Jennifer Lopez
Nick Nolte.
Directors
Taylor Hackford.
Screenwriters
John J. McLaughlin.
Running Time
118 minutes

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Parker
J-Lo meets J-Stath


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Plot
Shot and left for dead after a daring heist, Parker (Statham) tracks his fellow thieves to Florida’s wealthy Palm Beach, where he assumes a disguise and plots to steal the haul from their latest robbery with the help of a local estate agent (Lopez).


Review
Parker
Jason Statham is a reliably unreliable action star, shooting three misfires (Death Race, Killer Elite) for every bullseye (Snatch, Safe). Having succeeded Charles Bronson in a recent remake of The Mechanic, Statham now takes on the role of Richard Stark’s (aka blacklisted writer Donald E. Westlake) eponymous master thief, previously played by Lee Marvin (Point Blank), Robert Duvall (The Outfit) and, most recently, Mel Gibson (Payback). This 21st-century take on the character, overseen by journeyman director Taylor Hackford (aka Mr. Helen Mirren), fits Statham like a jewel thief’s glove; after seeing him in action, it’s almost impossible to read a Parker novel without hearing The Stath’s inimitable Cockney rasp. Characterised more by actions than words, Parker’s hardness is established by the fact that even his girlfriend calls him by his surname — and that, at one point, he pushes his hand onto a knife to stop it being stuck in his eye.

The film opens with a daring daylight robbery at the Ohio State Fair, followed by a cheeky reprise of the plot of The Hunter (the basis for Point Blank/Payback), with Parker double-crossed and left for dead (again). From here, the script largely follows the plotting of the source text (the 19th Parker novel, published in 2000), fleshing out the supporting characters, notably Jennifer Lopez’s loopy estate agent. With her arrival, 30 minutes in, Parker takes a surprise left turn into caper territory — although the film’s violent tendencies (it will go down a storm with the NRA) flare up periodically to remind us we’re not watching The Thomas Crown Affair. Lopez, who hasn’t made a good movie since Out Of Sight, is an inspired foil for Statham, her character’s klutzy nature nicely juxtaposed with Parker’s cool reticence, and it’s rare to find a fully fleshed-out female character in an action thriller. Hackford’s reach may exceed his grasp, but this is a skilful execution of a minor Parker novel.


Verdict
Fifty years after he first appeared, Donald E. Westlake’s antihero may have found his perfect avatar. Like Parker’s robberies, it isn’t entirely successful, but Statham and Lopez make enticingly mismatched partners in crime.


Reviewed by David Hughes

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Parker
Empire Star Rating

New Jason Statham film in wich he does what he always does. Extremely over the top and actually about 20 minutes too lang. A running time of almost two hours is just too long for this kinda film... 5,0/10 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 21:57, 17 May 2013 | Report This Post


RE: so what?

Yep not good, he's done better ... More

Posted by CRUNT at 16:01, 08 May 2013 | Report This Post


RE: so what?

er (2013) Wholly crap another novel adaptation! I was surprised to discover this character was actually the guy Mel Gibson portrayed in 'Payback', that did then ring a bell seeing as the characters in both films are the same, anti heroes. Back then the rights to the character name 'Parker' weren't there apparently. So the plots to this adaptation and 'Payback/The Hunter' are virtually the same! 'Parker' is betrayed by a gang, shot and left for dead. He then proceeds to spend the entire f... More

Posted by Phubbs at 01:11, 08 May 2013 | Report This Post


so what?

Yep, violence and action but also a bit lazy and unmemorable. Jason Statham does this stuff in his sleep now and seems overly indestructible in this one but there is nothing interesting or memorable about this whatsoever. Much as I am happy to admire a lady's arse, the scene where he asks Lopez to strip to check if she had a wire on was awful in a cringing "let's put something in the script so we can give the boys a look at The Bottom". Is it me or have most of the action films this... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bretty at 23:43, 18 March 2013 | Report This Post


RE: guff

Parker is a professional thief, who doesn’t steal from the poor or hurt innocent people. His mentor Hurley asks him to do a five-man job with a crew he doesn’t know. The job is successful, but Parker refuses to go further with another plan that will earn them millions. The others shoot him and leave him to die in a lake, where he is found half-dead by a family who take him to the hospital, where he chokes out a male nurse, steals his uniform, and escapes. He robs a check cashing store to get fu... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 21:39, 13 March 2013 | Report This Post


RE: guff

parker is nice movie... i like it. ... More

Posted by joysingh at 08:31, 11 March 2013 | Report This Post


guff

Stupid nonsense, but the opening robbery is enjoyable and it has a couple of violent & bloody fights. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 00:39, 10 March 2013 | Report This Post


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