Based on the Richard Stark (aka Donald E. Westlake) character that has appeared in 24 novels and 3 movies, PARKER is a enjoyable, crime drama energetically directed by Taylor Hackford. This time the title character is portrayed by Jason Statham, having been previously played by Lee Marvin in PONT BLANK (1967) and Mel Gibson in PAYBACK (1999).
A master thief, Parker’s philosophy is simple; doesn’t steal from those who can’t afford it and he doesn’t hurt people who don’t deserve it. He has a code of conduct that he lives by. Mess with that code and you’re going to get this bull’s horns.
The plot of PARKER is relatively simplistic. The movie starts with a clever heist at a carnival fair (which in itself is clever). But Parker is double-crossed by his team and left for dead. They picked the wrong man to do that to. It’s not about the money; it’s about the principle.
So Parker makes it his mission to exact revenge on those that betrayed him no matter how much blood needs to be spilled in the process. He certainly takes his lumps, but he’s as determined as the Energizer Bunny and keeps coming back until the job is done.
Along the way he hooks up with Jennifer Lopez’s desperate for money, Real Estate Agent, making an unlikely pair.
The movie isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it’s fun and playful at times amid all the excessive violence. Statham who doesn’t have much range as an actor, plays Parker much like the umpteenth other tough guy characters he’s portrayed over the years. But with that said, the guy has charisma and you can’t help but like him. Lopez on the other hand seems really out of place and brings the movie down a notch. This is a far cry from her break-out role in Soderbergh’s now-classic OUT OF SIGHT (1998).
Parker is available to stream on NETFLIX, so if you want a fun diversion PARKER will hold your attention and the fight sequences are well conceived and messy, just like the movie itself.