Monday, June 21, 2010

From Paris With Love

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.


David Cranmer said...

That look suits Travolta well.

Anonymous said...

I really liked this movie and was surprised at how many did not.
For a head-on action flick, it's unusually character-driven, since much of the tension comes from the viewer wondering (as you point out) if Travolta's character is a) working for the other side, b)following his own weird aganda, or c)completely batsh*t insane.
The reality of the situation ends up being a bit typical, but the film was still a fine ride.

John Hocking

Lagomorph Rex said...

I thought it was pretty good, but not even everyone in the group I went with liked it.. so I agree with it being a fairly divisive film.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I don't watch movies featuring Scientology scum.

Lagomorph Rex said...

you must not watch a lot of movies then..

TV is out too.. That 70's Show and Stargate (all of them) especially..

Anonymous said...

Aw c'mon, Cap'n.
Like Bogart said, "All you owe the public is a good performance."

If not, where do you draw the line?
Can't listen to Miles Davis 'cause he beat his woman. Can't read Lovecraft 'cause he was militant atheist. Can't groove on a Modigliani canvas 'cause he took drugs and was mean to his models. Can't read any Anne Perry 'cause she was a child criminal.

You can end up not paying attention to any art that isn't created by someone with your views.
And where does that get you?


James Reasoner said...

There are some authors I won't read because I've been around them when they were acting like jerks or because they treated friends of mine badly. But mostly I don't care, as long as I like the books.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I draw the line at $cientologists, child molestors, Al Sharpton, and a few other objectionable people and groups. With all the entertainment out there I don't feel like I'm missing anything by not supporting people whose money will be shared with a group I find heinous. You can do as you please.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

P.S.: I won't be intruding on James's blog to do my ranting in the future, however. It's one of those subjects on which I'm touchy and I've been a bit short tempered the last few days, otherwise I would have kept my yap closed.

James Reasoner said...

Cap'n, you're welcome to rant here any time.