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Parker

Score: 92%
Rating: R
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home
                  Entertainment

Region: A
Media: Blu-ray/1
Running Time: 118 Mins.
Genre: Action/Thriller/Crime
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

Features:

  • Commentary with Director Taylor Hackford
  • Bringing the Hunter to Life: The Making of Parker
  • Who is Parker?
  • The Origin of Parker - Blu-ray Exclusive
  • Broken Necks and Bloody Knuckles - Blu-ray Exclusive

Ok, let's get this out of the way early. I am a big Jason Statham fan. I may not always love the movies he plays in, but I always love him in any movie he is in, because he is just so much fun to watch as he attacks his roles with unbridled fervor. In the case of Parker, I thoroughly enjoyed both the movie and Statham's role as the professional thief with a code of ethics.

When Parker (Jason Statham) decides to take on a fairly large score at the Ohio State Fair, his old buddy, Hurley (Nick Nolte) suggests 4 men to complete the needed 5-man team. Hurley is out of the game at this point, but is always willing to help out Parker because not only were they partners in earlier days, but Parker is now involved with Claire (Emma Booth), Hurley's daughter. The team consists of Melander (Michael Chiklis, Pawn), Carson, (Wendell Pierce), Ross (Clifton Collins, Jr.) and last but not least, Hardwicke (Michal A. Hauptman), who is a bumbling idiot but whose uncle is high up in the Chicago mob. While the heist goes off well and they make away with 1 million dollars, it ends up being a bit messy and an innocent bystander gets killed because of a team member's sloppy work. This directly violates Parker's code: Donít steal from those who can't afford it and don't hurt anyone who doesn't deserve it. Furthermore, once they are all together in the get-away car, the other four try to bully Parker into seeding an even bigger heist with his take of the million. When he doesn't cave, they shoot him, leaving him for dead on the side of the road.

Miraculously, Parker survives but with burning hot vengeance on his mind. Piecing together the clues from what the group said, while patching up his broken body, he crafts a plan to get his money back and make them pay. He heads to sunny West Palm Beach, Florida posing as a rich Texan and there he meets Leslie Rodgers (Jennifer Lopez), a struggling real estate agent. She's not rich, but she's clever and after a bit of checking realizes Parker is not what he says. She wants in on the heist because she knows the lay of the land, and all she wants is a little slice of the pie. With the Chicago mob now hot on Parker's trail, he pulls Leslie into his game, but it puts Claire and her father in grave danger. The whole deal may turn out to be more dangerous than any of them ever expected, but that won't stop Parker from plotting, planning and hopefully executing the score of a lifetime.

While Parker is big on action, it has a good bit of levity to it as well, which is always nice. One of the things I typically enjoy about Jason Statham's movies is that they tend to make me laugh at times, even if it's just a little bit. Parker's no slouch on the action and fight scenes, mind you. One specific fight between Parker and a mob hit man is particularly brutal and actually made me wince a bit when flesh and bone hit porcelain at that rate of speed. Ouch. I'm not a fan of Lopez's acting, but she does a pretty good job in this movie. She does overact at times, but it's not awful and the banter between Leslie and her mother, Ascension (Patti LuPone), is pretty darn funny. Michael Chiklis has been terrorizing my TV screen lately with his bad guy roles and this role is no different. He's great, as are the other members of his dastardly team, although the focus seems to be more on him and dim-witted Hardwicke, rather than the other guys.

There are a handful of interesting special features that give insight into the creation of the movie and discuss how the character Parker was taken from the successful book series by Richard Stark AKA Donald E. Westlake (writer, Payback) and placed onto the big screen. There are also some nice cast and filmmaker interviews as well. Parker looks gorgeous on Blu-ray, especially when they pan across the vistas of the gleaming blue Florida coastline, and the surround sound also packs a punch and only adds to the realism. Overall, Parker is great fun and a really good action flick.



-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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