Looking for a quick escapade to spent an eighty something minutes of your time with a fun, energetic, thinking is optional, action comedy? This film might have it all. From Paris with Love is a rather mindless, but very very fun action film and it really knows how to do it properly. Fan of action films should be having a good time. I know I did, and I’m not considered myself as an avid fan of action films.
Charles Wax (John Travolta) is a typical bad-ass protagonist who shoot first, ask questions later. Meanwhile, Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), is a typical worker who works for an embassy and wishes for a break out of his career and did more than just a low-level espionage he was currently doing. He gets his chance when he was assigned as a temporary partner for Wax who was visiting Paris for somekind of a drug-bust, somekind of a man-hunt. Wax is an explosive guy, a loose cannon, a cheerful profanity factory, and a trigger happy which is of course, quite a necessary in order to produce over-the-top action sequences. Therefore, before long, he wreak havoc in the city of Paris with body counts quickly piled up (I’ve lost count somewhere between 25 and 30) while dragging Reese who simply trying to stay alive behind him.
Luc Besson (he’s credited only for “story”) and his crew really knows how to make an over-the-top yet fun action films. It is clear for me that John Travolta, donning his bad-cop suit as comfortable as it is possible, was given a leeway to do whatever he wants and oh my, does he delivers. His character is definitely a cartoon character (I mean, come on, Charlie Wax? Wax as in ‘let me wax your leg?’). Even so, it’s still a magnificently fun time to see him because I can feel that John Travolta was clearly having fun and it’s oozing, and it’s contagious.
The film mostly goes like this. Wax and Reese came into a scene. Wax beats, kills bad guys (as many as possible), while Reese struggling to stay alive, delivers one or two punch-line, tries not to upset his girlfriend, and comically holding onto whatever Wax has given him to hold on to. The film, however, fortunately if I may add, doesn’t try to develop the crazy guy (Wax)/normal guy (Reese) relationship. As far as I’m concerned, Wax didn’t start his day hating Reese, nor vice versa. Wax knows that he’s going to be paired with Reese, so does Reese. Even if they bickers, they didn’t flail at each other and simply tagging along to get the job done in a fashion that became the main focus of this film at all the time. Actions, explosions, and violence. All of which were well-shot ones. Dialogs? Plotting? Characterization? Nah, we’re not talking about an ambitious trilogy here. So why bother?
My rating: **1/2 / **** Fun time action film. See this film and tell me if it wasn’t a fun one. If you didn’t enjoy this one, you might have something tugging in your mind. Bad day at the office? Downturn in a relationship? Release it all, let loose, and enjoy. Oh, a heavily buttered pop corn and a sweet soda didn’t hurt.
P.S. Charlie Wax made an utterly unexpected reference to that little film back in 1994. I’m the only one who laughed when he said it. Well, we can’t all be a movie buff 🙂 (Hint: That little film was written by Quentin Tarantino).