From Paris with Love (2010)
Sometimes a strict genre film can be forgiven its clichés. You find the characters interesting, the actors are having a grand time, or the director finds a way to make old seem new. And sometimes a movie just gets sunk to the watery depths of boredom thanks to an overabundance of genre clichés. From Paris with Love is the latter. I had higher hopes for the film coming from the director of 2009’s Taken, which defied a ball of clichés to be a fairly kick-ass and efficient action caper. Paris involves the tired setup of the straight-laced guy matched up with the reckless loose canon. John Travolta gets to chew every piece of scenery not nailed down. Travolta unhinged has its pleasures, but if the entire movie is Travolta’s theatrical tantrums and some scattered explosions, then forget it. We watch Travolta act up, go overboard, and then eventually be proven right. This formula is repeated ad nauseam. The silly plot involves a Pakistani terrorist strike against the U.S. ambassador at the African summit in Paris (convoluted much?). The twists and double-crosses are easily telegraphed, and most of the action sequences are poorly edited and structured, and the attempts at humor fall deadly flat. From Paris with Love is a stupid action movie for all the wrong reasons.
Nate’s Grade: C