Friday, May 24, 2013

Parker's Last Stand

More thoughts as I play movie catch-up --

PARKER: Jason Statham IS "Parker", Donald Westlake's thief with a heart o'gold (ish).  When Parker's criminal crew turns on him post-State Fair heist and leave him for dead, it's more or less obvious where this story is headed: bloody revenge!  Bloody, I tell you!  Unfortunately for the real bad guys (led by Michael Chiklis), Parker shrugs off multiple bullet wounds like paper-cuts and, well, mayhem ensues.  I like Statham in just about everything he's done, but I can't say I always like the movies (I'm looking at you, "Blitz"!).  This one falls somewhere in the mid-range... nicely done, but a story involving Jennifer Lopez as a down-on-her-luck real estate agent insinuating herself into Parker's life really slows things down.  Also, I'm as game as anyone for stories about thieves, but the moral world presented here is pretty damn murky.  "Civilian" characters aid and embrace Parker without a second thought.  This guy may give carnival dolls to cute little kids, but he's also a multiple murderer, and sheltering him from the police is not only stupid, it's a felony.  And the ending, which I believe was meant to be heart-warming, is frankly pretty bizarre... unless your only idea of happiness is a big stack of cash, regardless of how many people died to get it.  Oh well.  I still kind of enjoyed it!

THE LAST STAND: This was Arnold Schwarznegger's first starring role post-Governor-ship, and it was sort of a curious choice.  He's actually fine in it, playing a older small town Sheriff forced to confront a bunch of heroin cartel murderers, but the rest of the movie just asks for a few too many "gimmes."  I'll buy that a billionaire Mexican cartel guy can hire enough goons to break him out of custody in Las Vegas.  I'll buy that said goons can arrange an impossibly complex escape plan.  What I can not buy is that after doing all this, the cartel guy's next move is to drive a really fast car from Vegas to the Arizona border and then into Mexico.  And I really can't buy that the entire Federal Government, who are following said speedy car most of the way by helicopter, can't stop him.  No, that job falls to Arnold and his small town misfits, who use the local gun-collector's artillery to wage World War III on the cartel forces.  The tone of this movie is quite bizarre, going from deadly serious to goofier than hell in the blink of an eye.  Johnny Knoxville plays the eccentric gun collector in a performance that makes Jerry Lewis look subdued.  But in the end I come back to the fact that Schwarznegger is fun to watch...


Blogger Muldfeld said...

And you wonder why I think you enjoy action movies far, FAR more than dramas... :)

11:30 PM  

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