Parker - Blu-ray Review

'Parker has more in common with Steven Soderbergh's Out Of Sight than the mere fact that both star Jennifer Lopez'

Parker has more in common with Steven Soderbergh's Out Of Sight than the mere fact that both star Jennifer Lopez and you suspect that director Taylor Hackford, who feels a very long way away from the Oscar-winning Ray here, may well have had that film on the brain when it came to directing this one. There are certainly worse touchstones to glean from and, at times, Hackford does attractively bring Out Of Sight to mind.

Though nowhere near Clooney's level of charisma, Jason Statham does do an erstwhile job filling in as the gentleman thief. Betrayed by his team after a fairground heist, Parker (Statham) heads to Florida where the crew, led by Melander (Michael Chiklis), are setting up their next job. There he links up with Jennifer Lopez' knowledgeable estate agent, whilst back home he must deal with the mob pursuing girlfriend Claire (Emma Booth) and mentor Hurley (Nick Nolte).

If the second of those elements feels tacked on then you've already spotted where Parker gets its bloated near-two hour runtime from. Though the mob involvement does enable a handful of good action sequences, including a brutal fight in a high-rise condo, there's little reason for the plot thread to be there, extending the film as it does past the comfortable cut-off point for a fast, throwaway Thriller.

The core plot, by contrast, is handled with some aplomb by Hackford, who sets up Statham with a good anti-hero, mainly through having the growling Chiklis and Clifton Collins Jr. as bad guy foils. The script by John J. McLaughlin isn't a patch on Out Of Sight's clever wordplay, but there are still enough moments of charm and wit to see it through, including Statham explaining why it would be a bad thing to have 'the posthumous humiliation of being killed by a chair.'

It is, of course, ultimately throwaway stuff, but Statham is still the king of starring in generally good throwaway stuff, and at least Hackford has his finger on the pulse of some good touchstones and the directorial nous to ape them, without coming of like a bad imitation.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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