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From Paris with Love movie poster

From Paris With Love: Movie Review



Genre:
Action, Thriller
Rated: R
Directed by: Pierre Morel
Starring: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Amber Rose Revah, Melissa Mars, Kasia Smutniak
Released by: Lions Gate Entertainment

In Short: Pierre Morel strikes out with this cliché-ridden "shoot-'em-up" film, marred by ridiculous characters and silly action sequences.

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C'EST TRÈS MAL
Better to Skip This Trip to Paris

From Paris with Love” starts out well enough. Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers has practiced his American accent, so his starring role as the assistant to the United States Ambassador to the City of Lights with a desire to join the CIA is reasonably believable. And it’s also easy to believe that such a good-looking guy would have a beautiful clothing designer (Polish actress Kasia Smutniak) as a girlfriend.

But that’s it. There isn’t another moment in this whole ridiculous mess of a movie that is even remotely plausible, starting with John Travolta’s cartoonish take on a tough-guy CIA agent and rolling right through the rest of this series of silly action sequences. For that’s what cinematographer-turned-director Pierre Morel thinks is the key to making a movie. He simply throws one dumb shoot-‘em-up right after another, strung together with a seriously lame and often laughable plot.

John Travolta, Melissa Mars and Jonathan Rhys Meyers in From Paris with Love John Travolta in From Paris with Love

Naturally, since Paris is the backdrop for the story, there are plenty of chases—up and down spiral staircases, through the narrow cobblestoned streets, across the ancient rooftops—all the while with bullets spewing everywhere. But amazingly, our two heroes, the wannabe secret agent and his wild man mentor dodge massive automatic weaponry fire with aplomb. And as usual in the post-9/11 cinematic world, these are anti-American Middle Eastern terrorists who are operating at will all over France, and, of course, only Americans can save the day, while leaving piles of dead bodies in their wake. The whole jingoistic Americans-as-heroes scenario is actually really odd, since both Morel and producer-writer Luc Besson (“The Fifth Element”) are French and have set their film in that country.

You’d think they’d at least have thrown in one Gallic character that might have added a modicum of reality to this comic-book mishmash, but no way. That’s because the filmmakers are counting on action-loving Americans paying to see this dreck; they know that a movie this ridiculous would be laughed right off the screen in France.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters




PAR012510
(Updated: 02/10/10 AR)

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