After successes like The Transporter and Crank, there was a point in time where Jason Statham was considered the next big action star. The guy had all the right notches on his belt, he was handsome yet tough, gritty with a taste of sophistication and above all else, he could legitimately act. However despite a plethora of starring and co-starring roles, he’s never materialized into the next big thing to replace the likes of Arnold, Sly and Willis. Instead he has comfortably settled into the role of also ran, making entertaining action films that lack the staying power of the greats. For all intents and purposes, he is this generation’s Steven Segal, not that that is a bad thing.
Statham’s latest endeavor, Parker, features a star studded cast including Nick Nolte, Jennifer Lopez, and Michael Chiklis and comes from the well respected director Taylor Hackford (Ray, Blood In, Blood Out). Yet despite these big names, Parker is pretty standard fare for Statham.
Statham plays Parker, a thief that gets double crossed after a big heist. He is left for dead on the side of the road, where he is rescued by a family passing by. After recovering Parker sets out to right the wrongs done to him, chasing his former team to Palm Beach, Florida where a large heist is going to go down. Finding out exactly what the heist is though is Parker’s next order of business and for this he enlists the help of Leslie (Jennifer Lopez), a down on her luck real estate agent. Leslie is an annoying character, which mostly flows from Lopez’s performance but at least the pop-star turned actress, now 43, looks fantastic.
Everything about Parker is fairly straightforward. You’ll see the betrayal, the outcome of the climactic battle and even how the happy ending plays out all a mile away. But even though it is generic and straightforward, Parker manages to be an entertaining two hours because of Statham’s natural charm. It’s like Statham’s version of Hard to Kill only with a British accent and a prettier leading lady.