Parker (2013)

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Taylor Hackford directs Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Chiklis in this adaptation of a mid series Richard Stark revenge thriller.

We have had loads of great unofficial Parker adaptations and descendants before (Point Blank, The Outfit, Payback, How I Spent My Summer Vacation) but this first author approved yarn gets a lot right. It has the breezy, hard boiled feel of a good throwaway holiday novel. So… the best stuff is very much at the front; a state fair heist, Stath fighting various TV boxset favourites in a moving SUV, his trademark Parker resurrection, that ten gallon hat. Our Jase proves a bloody decent fit for the cult criminal when the focus is on him, so it is disappointing this didn’t go wider with the public as I would personally love second and third servings. Two things might be off putting to some though, the baggy second half where the narrative recalibrates far too much around J-Lo’s mixed up citizen (Out of Sight meets Desperate Housewives is the tone) and the sheer blood soaked nature of some the Stath’s roughest tumble (literally dripping in crimson during two encounters). I found much to treasure in even these diversions. Credits rolls and we’ve gotten Statham’s best for a long time – a shame there won’t be more, this aborted series should have been his retirement fund.

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