From Paris with Love http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1179034/
I was almost fooled by the "from a story by Luc Besson" billing. He didn't write the screenplay, nor did he direct it.
Luc Besson brought us greatness such as "Fifth Element", "The Messenger", "The Transporter", and the ever awesome "Leon (The Professional)". So of course just seeing his name on a movie is a flag to "watch this movie. it said Luc Besson in the credits somewhere".
But, like I said, I noted the "story by" credit, and noted the different (than Besson) screenplay writer and different director, so...
Stars John Travolta (Vinnie Barbarino - heh) and Jonathan Rhys Myers (King Henry VIII in "The Tudors" and lots of other stuff).
SO yeah. Over the top at times. Kinda contrived throwing-together partnership of Travolta's "uber-agent bad as goateed-bald can be" character with Rhys Myers' "wanna be agent not even a real trainee yet" character in an involved international terrorism plot. I never really noticed any character chemistry between those two, although the script obviously wanted for it.
Has lots of guns, violence, super-secret-behind-the-scenes-spy-tech supporting the one man assassination army that is Travolta. However the pitch of his voice sortof breaks the whole badass-ness of the bald with goatee and sunglasses look, but he tries admirably to make up for it. At least there was "Taking of Pelham 1-2-3" to prepare me for the dissonance between the badass look and Travolta's voice. Watching "Pelham" already got the chuckles out so I wasn't as distracted this time.
It has some plot predictability, some over-the-top gun battles vs. "Storm Trooper School of Marksmanship" graduates.
OH - and fark the "Royale with Cheese" reference. I can't believe those stupid shits lifted that from "Pulp Fiction" and made Travolta say it again. Almost as bad as Tim Burton's "get yer stinkin hands (paws) off me" nod in that abomination of "Planet of the Apes". I say almost only because this is a better movie than Burton's abomination.
It does have an awesome sitting-at-the-table-and-get-a-telling-wrong-number-phone-call scene. Watch it you'll see what I'm talkin about.
Even though you can see Luc Besson's influences on the film, it doesn't quite live up to the Luc Besson name. But it is entertaining to a degree and probably worth watchin if you're in the mood for a thriller action drama. So - if you watch it, forget Luc Besson's name is on the film. It isn't bad, it just isn't better than OK or good (maybe).
Another thing. When a person who has never actually killed someone gets teamed up with a deadly agent-type - and halfway through the first day 20-some folks get blown away in gun battles that end up leaving blood sprayed all over the newbie's face - why do they never really seem rattled by the experience? Or, if they do, it is just a fleeting moment of 'ohmygosh' at a slight lull in the action then "boom!" back in the business without a second thought?
(original post 27 Sep 2010)