Last year Pierre Morel surprised me with Taken. An action movie resembling those that have been made with the same skill back in the 80’s. It was a pleasant surprise and the same team behind that movie is back with From Paris with Love. This time writer Luc Besson and director Morel have John Travolta at their service, who gives us one of his more energetic performances as CIA agent Charlie Wax. At one point after beating the shit out of a group of armed thugs with his bare hands he says to his new partner Reece (Rhys Meyers) “Now tell me that shit isn’t impressive” I have to agree: despite the hyper-kinetic editing we’ve gotten used to by now it was one of the many moments in the movie that put a smile to my face.
Without Travolta or an actor with a similar talent to ham it up this movie could have been a disaster. There is hardly a plot, only a string of action sequences that somehow should resemble something of a moving story. With only Wax knowing where he’s going and why earlier scenes in the movie make little sense once it becomes clear what this is about. Or maybe they did make sense. Did he really need a vase full of cocaine and how samrt was it to run around with it through Paris?
It’s easy to pull a movie like this apart, but in the end I had a pretty good time watching it. There are enough moments in the movie that made me laugh and some good action sequences. Travolta is really fun to watch, something that can’t be said about his co-star Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The first 15 minutes of the movie are the weakest as they only revolve around him and set up his character. He misses charisma and is completely blown off screen by Travolta.
Anyone wanting to watch a John Travolta one man show should give From Paris With Love a chance. The tempo is pretty high and the movie on a whole entertaining. It’s another 80’s action movie and a good one at that.