From Paris With Love (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner24/02/2010

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 92 mins

Trashy, fast-paced, poorly acted and utterly ridiculous action thriller that substitutes non-stop gunfire and the odd explosion for anything resembling plot or sense, in the hope that you won't notice.

What's it all about?
Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars as James Reece, an assistant to the American Ambassador (Richard Durden) in Paris, who has begun low-level intelligence work for the CIA and is hoping to move up to bigger things. However, Reece gets his big break sooner than he'd planned when rumours of a terrorist plot surface in the run-up to a peace conference and he's teamed with CIA loose cannon Charlie Wax (John Travolta) in order to foil their dastardly plan.

With the clock ticking, Wax whisks Reece off on a madcap dash around Paris as they attempt to foil the plot, shooting anyone who gets in their way and generally leaving a trail of destruction that would put most terrorists to shame. Meanwhile, Reece also has to deal with his increasingly annoyed girlfriend (the amusingly named Kasia Smutniak) after his mission interrupts their romantic evening together.

The Good
From Paris With Love is directed by Pierre Morel, who made the infinitely superior and equally shooty Taken, so it's no surprise to discover that the fight scenes are well directed. Unfortunately, the same can't be said of the shoot-out sequences, which quickly get repetitive (there's a shoot-out literally every time Wax and Reece enter a room) and aren't even remotely exciting.

The Bad
Travolta is clearly having a whale of a time, riffing on his previous characters (most notably Pulp Fiction's Vincent and Broken Arrow's excitable bad guy), making cheesy, if non-sensical film references ('Wax on, wax off') and generally being the smartest guy in the room at all times; essentially, your enjoyment of this film will largely depend on how much of Travolta's schtick you can take. Rhys Meyers, on the other hand, is a charisma-free zone and it's impossible to warm to him as a result.

On top of that, the paper-thin plot is just a flimsy excuse for a series of increasingly tedious shoot-outs and you never once feel as if anything important is really at stake (unlike in Taken, where you cared whether Neeson found his daughter alive).

Worth seeing?
This is forgettable Friday night entertainment at its most brainless.

Film Trailer

From Paris With Love (15)
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Content updated: 11/12/2017 15:22

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