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From Paris With Love - Review

From Paris With Love

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

THERE are two types of bad film: those that are beyond redemption and offer nothing in the way of entertainment, and those that are so bad they’re actually quite enjoyable.

John Travolta’s From Paris With Love falls into the latter category. It’s awful… but kind of a blast at the same time.

Co-created by Luc Besson and Pierre Morel, the team behind Liam Neeson hit Taken, this is a muscular action vehicle that insults the intelligence given that nothing really makes sense… but then that’s kind of the point.

Travolta plays unorthodox US agent Charlie Wax who arrives in Paris to partner by-the-book desk jockey James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) in attempting to prevent a terrorist attack.

En route, they lay waste to drug dealers, local hoodlums, informants and anyone who gets in their way… and not necessarily for any reason other than they seem to enjoy it.

Admittedly, both actors seem to know how absurd the whole thing is and don’t really take matters seriously: Rhys Meyers playing straight man to Travolta’s OTT Wax.

But as much of a guilty pleasure as seeing just how insane things can get is, there’s no masking the film’s obvious flaws… or the fact that its plot could have been written on the back of a postage stamp!

Travolta attempts to compensate by delivering a greatest hits compendium of some of his better movie moments, channelling the energy of his Face/Off villain with a cheesy nod to a former Tarantino outing.

While Morel attempts to compensate by tossing in one exaggerated gunfight after another, culminating in an outlandish motorway chase between a would-be assassin and Wax’s bazooka wielding agent.

Some of this action is delivered with genuine verve, but most struggles to mask the fact that Travolta is using a stunt double.

The supposed plot twist, meanwhile, is too easily signposted early on and then not exploited enough to really feel worthwhile.

The overall result, while flying by in 90 odd minutes and fully aware of its own shortcomings, is still a bad movie… no matter how you try to dress it up!

Certificate: 15
Running time: 94mins
UK Release Date: February 26, 2010