Wednesday, June 9, 2010

From Paris With Love - 3.5/5

There is something to be said about these action films that Luc Besson comes up with. More often than not, they aren't good, but I'll be damned if they aren't fun and charming. That's what "From Paris With Love" has going for it. Its pretty mindless and shallow when it comes to depth, but the action is intense and our two new partners have pretty charismatic chemistry onscreen that makes this film a riot to watch.

Reese is a desk jockey working undercover for the US Ambassador in France whose dream is to be a field agent for the intelligence agency he works for. His chance comes in the form of his new partner, a gun toting semi psychotic Charlie Wax whose blunt tactics of experience throw Reese's chess like thinking for a world of hurt. Their job is to hunt down a terrorist cell that is operating in France and stop it before they get to do whatever the hell it is they are planning to do.

"From Paris With Love" might lack a certain amount of intelligence to its story and even some logic now and again, bit it certainly makes up for it with its wicked pacing, nonstop action sequences, and charismatic lead duo. The film is filled to the brim with spent gun rounds, corpses (a running joke through the film is how many people Wax actually kills), and over the top ridiculous action sequences including a pretty stellar chase on a freeway with Travolta wielding a bazooka while talking on his cell phone. When the film is on, its wax on and wax off, with plenty of laughs from its quick dialogue and quick turn plot pacing and its this part of "From Paris With Love" that made it so damn enjoyable.

Granted, when the film tried to get serious, a portion of its brief opening as it followed the life of Reese and Reese's final speech to Caroline, is when it tends to falter. The seriousness of the film doesn't necessarily blend with the action/humor of the film so well and despite some honest attempts at depth, it tends to fail on this aspect. Morel isn't known for his serious work (even "Taken" tended to falter in these parts) so its not a big surprise that they don't really work here. But by a half hour in, most of those scenes become just suitable plot points to get us to the next fun action sequence and must be taken with a grain of salt.

Honestly, by the end of "From Paris With Love" I felt as though this was a film that desperately needs franchising. The team of Meyers and Travolta was so much fun to watch and exciting that seeing them continue on their escapades together would be worth every dollar I spend on it. This film was adrenaline pumping fun and definitely worth seeing (especially for Morel or Besson fans) even if it does lack more story or depth to it.

BONUS RANT: Although the scene with Travolta referencing his memorable speech about the 'Royale with cheese' made for a nice moment to remember "Pulp Fiction" with, it does feel a bit random and out of place. Definitely a moment for fan boys that could have been a better running joke rather than a one time homage to. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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