From Paris With Love – John Travolta – Movie Review
FROM ACTION WITH PACKED
by Kevin Bowen
published February 7, 2010
From Paris With Love
now playing nationwide
Does From Paris With Love ever stop?
Nah, this French flavored actioner romps through its steps
as if its success depends on outrunning logic. For the most part, it succeeds.
It’s hard to know what a fussy Frenchman would think, the
City of Light transformed from film’s most romantic locale, suddenly vulgarized by an American action film mentality. Sprouting wild-ass
shoot-outs like vineyard grapes, unleashing a damn exciting highway chase with weaving cars and a bazooka, From Paris With Love is the
movie equivalent of EuroDisney – Americanizing Paris, both spectacular and distracting, with zero attention span and ….. hey look, a balloon!
Jonathan Rhys-Myers is a civilian security officer at the
American embassy in France. On the night of his wedding proposal, he’s dispatched to assist a visiting agent on a mysterious and dangerous
mission. Enter John Travolta as Charles Wax, a maniacal assassin dispatched to chase a terrorist syndicate.
Travolta anchors the film down deep with his sudden
hulkiness, bald pate, and the weight of his screen ego. His forehead seems to be gaining mass and could go supernova any second. You wonder if
he should be the first movie star tested for steroids. Roid rage would explain his foul mouthed, shoot-first ass-kicking through the seedy
side of Paris. Perhaps torn apart by the gravitational pull of Travolta’s forehead, the film completely loses sense of reality. And don’t you
just love it for that?
From Paris With Love is the product of Pierre Morel (joined by producer Luc Besson), responsible for the
respected District B13 and last year’s big hit Taken. It is carnivorous cinema, digesting recent action films and sharply
regurgitating them. We might be regurgitating, too, if the film didn’t know how to intelligently and amusingly smother the whole thing in
tasty action gravy. You can’t put Travolta in Paris without handing him a Royale with Cheese. At least the film has the good graces to
decorate it with a hint of cleverness.
If From Paris with Love changes your life, it will
only be by awakening your long-latent epilepsy. Yet its pleasures are undeniable– superbly staged and edited, pasted together by a wink and
nod, washed down with a hint of genre satire.
kevinbowen @ stageandcinema.com