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Movie Mom

From Paris With Love

posted by Nell Minow
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, drug content, pervasive language and brief sexuality
Profanity:Extremely strong language
Nudity/Sex:Non-explicit sexual situation and implied nudity, prostitutes
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, drug dealing, drug use
Violence/Scariness:Extreme and graphic violence, guns, explosions, terrorism, bazooka, and more
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:February 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 8, 2010
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, drug content, pervasive language and brief sexuality
Profanity: Extremely strong language
Nudity/Sex: Non-explicit sexual situation and implied nudity, prostitutes
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking, drug dealing, drug use
Violence/Scariness: Extreme and graphic violence, guns, explosions, terrorism, bazooka, and more
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Movie Release Date: February 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 8, 2010

John Travolta loves to be bad. And so he is clearly having a blast — in both senses of the word — in this film, playing a bald guy with an earring who likes to shoot first and think later. As Charlie Wax, a top ops guy who loves to break rules and mess with heads, he gives new meaning to the word trigger-happy.

If only it was as much fun for the audience. But this movie was clearly more about entertaining the star than the ticket-buyers. Wax arrives in Paris noisy and obnoxious, arguing with security about bringing his “energy drink” into the country. Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), a straight-laced, chess master, embassy aide who is hoping for a promotion to black ops, slaps a diplomatic sticker on Wax’s bag to get him through. Then they are off for an odd-couple buddy-cop joy ride that involves drug dealers, terrorists, and many opportunities for shooting first and not sticking around to ask questions later. For no particular reason, Reece ends up carrying a vase filled with cocaine through many different locations like takeout.


Even by the low bar for this genre, “From Paris With Love” feels under-scripted. There are a few good set-ups from director Pierre Morel (“District B13″), including a scene in a stairwell where our updates on the action come from the bodies falling past a stunned Reece and a shoot-out in a warehouse filled with mannequins lined up like terra cotta warriors. But it misses when it asks us to take Wax even a little bit seriously as a good guy. The title’s reference to James Bond and a painful reminder of Travolta’s better days in “Pulp Fiction” just ring hollow. Return to sender.

  • Alicia

    I could tell this movie was going to be a turkey, Nell, though I hear the action is pretty good. The cribbing of the “Royale with Cheese” line from “Pulp Fiction” is pathetic. Travolta appears to have lost it as an actor. The last time I thought he was very good was his performance in “Primary Colors” though I also liked him in “Get Shorty.” (“Pulp Fiction” speaks for itself.)
    Personally, I don’t think Travolta’s religion has had a positive impact on his career. It appears to emphasize “Me, Me, Me.” The worst aspects of celebrity.

  • Nell Minow

    The action is not even close to “District 13: Ultimatum,” also set in Paris, coming soon. And just feel grateful you didn’t have to see Travolta in “Old Dogs!”
    I loved him in “Get Shorty” and thought he was terrific in “Hairspray” and “Primary Colors.” I think with the right director, he can deliver again.

  • Kristin

    This movie was awesome!!! Best action movie i have seen in forever!! Travolta was amazing and had some incredibly funny lines!!

  • Nell Minow

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kristin! Thanks!

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