Sunday, January 27, 2013


“Parker” is a straightforward if exceptionally bloody action flick, with Jason Statham’s Parker a bank robber content to pull off million-dollar heists such as the one that opens the picture, in which he and his crew, using more masks and wigs than a quick-change act, steal the weekend take at the Ohio state fair. Parker balks when the rest of the crew wants to apply their haul to a bigger job – stealing $75 million of jewelry from a Palm Beach matron’s upcoming estate auction – and they shoot him and leave him for dead on the roadside.

The rest of the picture is devoted to Parker’s rather boringly moralistic revenge, during the course of which he will (of course) come into ownership of all of the aforementioned ice. He’s both helped and hindered in this by an ambitious, down-on-her luck Palm Beach real estate agent, played by the underrated Jennifer Lopez, who won’t have Oscar calling but who manages both to look great and to deliver effectively her one nice speech, about what it means to sell property in Palm Beach to trust fund babies, to smile and talk of wealth while your car is being repossessed, to fend off their advances – and sometimes not to fend them off. As is often the case, Lopez is the best thing about the movie; Statham remains mostly a blank canvas. “Parker” is perfectly passable as a time-killing download or DVD, but I can’t recommend paying first-run prices.

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