From Paris with Love

A personal aide to U.S. Ambassador in France, James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers – August Rush, The Tudors) has an enviable life in Paris and a beautiful French girlfriend, but his real passion is his side job as a low-level operative for the CIA. All James wants is to become a bona fide agent and see some real action. So when he’s offered his first senior-level assignment, he can’t believe his good luck until he meets his new partner, special agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta – Old Dogs, The Taking of Pelham 123) – a trigger-happy, wisecracking, loose cannon who’s been sent to Paris to stop a terrorist attack. Wax leads James on a white-knuckle shooting spree through the Parisian underworld that has James praying for his desk job. But when James discovers he’s a target of the same crime ring they’re trying to bust, he realizes there’s no turning back…and that Wax himself might be his only hope for making it through the next forty-eight hours alive.

Vic’s Review

Preposterous scenarios and over-the-top action fill this oddly enjoyable film.

Written and produced by Luc Besson, who also wrote two of my favorite films of all time: Leon (aka The Professional) and The Fifth Element; and directed by Pierre Morel (Taken), who I am starting to dub the French Michael Bay; this story continues in a long line of  incredibly implausible plots with no meaning other than to overload your senses with non-stop action.  This is not a bad thing though; after the first few action scenes, your bullshit meter gets overloaded, stops working and forces you to just laugh along with the unbelievably improbability of the whole thing.

Just as in Taken, Morel adds plenty of sudden OMG! moments that just add to the suspense of the whole film.

Even though the movie revolves around Reece, Wax steals the show with his wild antics. Tough-guy Special Agent Charlie Wax, is hilariously scary; a true gung-ho action superstar with a carefully hidden soft side that makes him even more funny the more of it you see.  Travolta definitely pulls no punches with this character, but I think that the part was written all too well and would have been a cakewalk for many actors.

All in all I originally had no interest in seeing this movie, but I was pleasantly surprised that I did.  I consider this a guilty pleasure and would recommend seeing this in a theater (while you still can).

Vic’s Rating: 7.0 out of 10