From Paris with Love – Review

Starring John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak
Directed by Pierre Morel
95 minutes
Opens February 5, 2010

*** stars out of five

A personal aide to the U.S. Ambassador in France, James Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) partners with the unruly fast-shooting special agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta) who has been sent to Paris to stop a terrorist attack. Taking on more than he can bargain for, James finds out that he is the target of the same underworld drug ring they’re trying to bust – there is no turning back and only so much time.

Why See It?
The title of the movie sounds like a James Bond knockoff – and it is. Regardless, the car chases, the gunplay, the big explosions, along with Travolta’s outrageous character – all add up to one big infectious action thriller. Sure the storyline is full of clichés but there is a surprising twist in the plot which I never expected.

I am now convinced that Travolta should do more action-packed movies like this one; he certainly dominates the film from beginning to end. Sporting a new look – goatee and bald head – suits Travolta as the wisecracking hit man. Actually, he is kind of charming and sexy in a homicidal way. In contrast, Meyer’s character is a timid wimp who can’t pull a trigger even when his life depends on it. These two characters, who play off each other quite effectively, provide the movie with some comic relief.