From Paris With Love” is dopey, slightly predictable and probably a little excessive.
It’s also a lot of fun.
Sure, this is a movie that can be easily dismissed as fluff, but director Pierre Morel (who also directed “Taken”) and leads John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers attack it with such gusto that I actually enjoyed it much more than I expected.
Meyers plays James Reece, a personal aide to the U.S. ambassador in France, looking to get a job as a CIA operative.
Reece finally gets his chance when he is assigned to an American spy named Charlie Wax (Travolta) - a trigger-happy loose cannon sent to Paris to stop a terrorist attack.
At first Reece is reluctant to work with Wax, but the closer they get to uncovering the terrorist plot, the more Reece realizes Wax may be the best chance he has to survive.
If you’ve ever seen an action film - specifically any of the “Lethal Weapon” films - you pretty much know what to expect from “Paris.” Meyers and Travolta have pretty good chemistry, with Travolta redeeming himself quite nicely from the dreadful “Old Dogs.”
Morel also keeps the energy high, with some nice action sequences neatly packed into an 85-minute running time.
I’m not sure “Paris” will have much of a lasting effect, but for anyone looking for a few explosions, bloodshed and some laughs, this is a film that will satisfy that itch.
DVD dandy of the week
This week’s dandy is “Revanche” (A-), the brilliant Austrian thriller that takes its audience in some interesting - and unexpected - directions.
Written and directed by Gotz Spielmann, “Revanche” tells the story of an ex-con named Alex (Johannes Krisch) eager to find a better life for himself and his girlfriend, Tamara (Irina Potapenko).
Alex hatches a plan to rob a bank and flee the city with his girlfriend, but the plan goes awry - Tamara is shot and killed during the escape by a policeman named Robert (Andreas Lust).
Distraught over his girlfriend’s death, Alex seeks shelter in the country with his father. The healing process takes a turn when Alex discovers that Robert lives close by - and Alex becomes intent on gaining revenge.
While “Revanche” starts as a pretty straightforward crime drama, the film manages to bring together Alex’s story and a subplot involving Robert and his wife, Susanne (Ursula Strauss), trying to start a family, in a compelling and unexpected manner.
The final hour goes in a direction that no one will see coming. It gives “Revanche” that rare element of surprise and discovery that is missing from most films today.
“Revanche” is unrated but does feature profanity, sexual situations, nudity and violence, and will be available on DVD on Tuesday.
- “Crazy Heart” opens Friday in Bowling Green, while Nashville gets the indie sleeper “Fish Tank.” It’s another busy weekend for sportswriter/movie reviewer Micheal Compton. To get his thoughts on those films or anything else he sees, visit his blog at mcompton.wordpress.com or his Twitter page at twitter.com/mcompton428. You can also e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.