From Paris with Love
Rated R; Directed by Pierre Morel; Starring John Travolta, John Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak, Richard Durden
John Travolta stars as a super-duper action figure in From Paris with Love. Produced by Luc Besson, director of The Fifth Element and La Femme Nikita, and directed by Pierre Morel (Taken), the movie goes for stylish action that isn’t really that stylish. It’s just another standard action film.
British actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers, sporting an American accent, plays James Reece. He works in a diplomatic office in Paris, but he’s also a low-level spy for an unnamed American agency. He gets a sudden promotion when he’s given the opportunity to chauffeur an incoming agent arriving at the airport. He’ll spend the next several hours with super-agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta), and a crazy time it is too, as Wax is the kind of agent who keeps multiple guns blazing.
The story is nothing to get too excited about. Anyway, who cares about plot when films like these are all about the action sequences? And in this movie there are plenty of action sequences. Most are predictable, but director Morel allows a few to rise above expectations. A scene on a staircase is cleverly done.
As for performances, Jonathan Rhys Meyers carries off the inexperienced agent well, but his performance is overshadowed by John Travolta’s. Travolta does have fun with these larger than life characters, and his Charlie Wax is nothing if not larger than life.
From Paris with Love is a standard action film. You do get plenty of action scenes, but it all amounts to something less than exciting. Enough explosions and fight scenes can keep you mildly entertained, but the movie isn’t something you’ll remember a week later.