Usually if Luc Besson is involved in a movie, you know there’s going to be a lot of stylish, over-the-top action in it. FROM PARIS WITH LOVE is no exception, although Besson just came up with the story for it. The plot concerns a young man working as the personal aide to the American ambassador to France who is also a low-level operative for the CIA. He gets a chance to move up in the secret agent ranks when he’s assigned to help out a visiting operative who comes to Paris on a mysterious mission that seems to keep changing.
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers plays the young man, and John Travolta (with shaved head, beard, and earrings) is the veteran agent whose methods are eccentric, to say the least. After a while, you begin to wonder if Travolta’s character has gone rogue and has an agenda of his own, or if he’s just plain nuts. This is one of those “nothing is what it seems” movies, though, and eventually everything makes sense, but not before there are a lot of those over-the-top action scenes.
Speaking of over the top, Travolta hams it up shamelessly in this one, and few people are better than him at hamming it up and still somehow making his part work. I liked just about everything about FROM PARIS WITH LOVE, even the corny PULP FICTION in-joke. I have a feeling that this is one of those “love ‘em or hate ‘em” movies, too, so bear that in mind if you decide to watch it. I had a fine time with it.