From Paris With Love - Blu-ray Review

'Travolta's character is everything James Bond would be if he let himself go a little and snorted coke from a stolen vase'

Directed by frequent Luc Besson collaborator Pierre Morel, From Paris With Love (which feels like it should have a comma in there somewhere, but doesn't) pits balded and quite possibly insane US spy Charlie Wax (John Travolta) and US embassy employee James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) against a selection of drug dealers, terrorists and other nefarious characters, adds in a few guns and waits to find out what happens.

It's exactly the kind of thinly plotted action spectacular you'd expect from the men who over the last few years have collaborated on The Transporter, Unleashed and Taken and this time, with Besson resuming writing duties and Morel taking the head chair for only the third time, they've hit something approaching form.

Their main strength here is casting Travolta, who has a ball with Wax, the type of character un-lumbered with personal attachments who can get away with wearing a decidedly dodgy haircut and scarf whilst he rampages around Paris, swearing, shooting people, saying 'Wax on, Wax off' and basically being everything James Bond would be if he let himself go a little and snorted coke from a stolen vase.

If that sounds like fun then it's because it is and only a few elements hold From Paris With Love back from being something even better. Firstly, there's Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who's fine when he's being cleverly introduced, Besson hiding the need for exposition about his role behind small but detailed character scenes, but outstays his welcome and again struggles with his accent. Some of the plot turns too feel a tad unsatisfying, although do bear fruit in the end and the almost inevitable Pulp Fiction reference was entirely not needed and can be spotted from a mile away.

Wax though, continues to pull it along at a heady pace and if he was to make an on-screen return (sans Rhys Meyers and with a slightly more refined script) then it certainly wouldn't be unwelcome, perhaps one of the highest levels of praise you can give this sort of film nowadays.

Look further...

'not groundbreaking cinema by any means. In fact, I’m not even giving it a solid recommendation. But I can’t say I didn’t have any fun watching it' - John Likes Movies, 2.5/4


  1. Small tweet button ... yes. But it's cute as a button! Heh.

    Travolta is amazing. Loved him in Swordfish.

  2. Boom boom! Yes despite its size I still like it, very neat and a nice way to share our content.

    And yes, love watching Tavolta go 'out there' and grab a role like this one. As I say, I'd watch him do this all over again.