There’s something about Luc Besson movies … they tend to have this “hang on for dear life” feel to them, and ‘From Paris With Love’ is no different. He also wrote and/or produced ‘Transporter 3’ and ‘Taken.’
The first 15 minutes sort of wanders along, a nice little French movie with Jonathan Rhys Meyers playing green-behind-the-ears James Reece, a man working as an assistant to a U.S. Ambassador, but playing a little spy game behind the scenes.
But then the movie suddenly kicks into high gear and it’s non-stop action until the end credits roll. John Travolta plays an American spy with the fun name of Charlie Wax who’s looking to stop a terrorist attack in the city. Well, we don’t know it’s a terrorist attack until later. At first, it appears that he’s after some drug runners, and Reece spends part of the movie carrying a vase full of cocaine around, chasing after Wax, who’s leaving a trail of bodies in his wake.
I mean, seriously, Travolta is great when he can just let loose and go full-out reckless, and that’s what he does here. He just Does.Not. care who gets in his way, and has no problem shooting first and talking later. Ok, there’s no talking. Plus, he has a knack for knowing just who those guys (or girls) are right away. No piddling around.
I was worried at first. My son and his buddy and I got to the theater, and ‘From Paris With Love’ was playing in the very last theater in the complex, the smallest one, and there were about three other people watching with us. Meanwhile, down the hall are two theaters packed full of people seeing ‘The Wolfman’ (we’ll probably see it tomorrow).
But ‘From Paris With Love’ was much better than I expected (given that ominous ‘no one’s watching this’ thing), and if you like Travolta or Rhys Meyers – or really, high action crime movies with a French twist – I highly recommend it. It’s just good fun. And there’s some awesome artillery.
Like I said, though, the body count is high, and it’s rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, drug content, pervasive language and brief sexuality. In short, not for kids.