From Paris With Love
starring John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Kasia Smutniak
screenplay by Adi Hasak
directed by Pierre Morel
Based on a story by Luc Besson, this is an exciting shoot-em-up action thriller with high-speed-chases-through-Paris-in-high-performance-European-cars. High performance European cars are just so much sexier in a police chase than a Ford, a Chrysler, or a Pontiac. It is a typical Luc Besson story, sort of like Taxi meets Natural Born Killers. I liked it. I repeat: John Travolta is the coolest man currently alive. (It used to be David Carradine.)
An American embassy worker in Paris dreams of becoming a special operations officer. He already is performing minor, low-level jobs for a mysterious voice on the phone like Mr. Phelps in Mission Impossible (the TV show starring Peter Graves,not the Tom Cruise movies). Then he gets his big break temporarily working with Charlie Wax (John Travolta) who comes to town like a whirlwind to destroy a terrorist cell. This film has terrorists, drug runners, money launderers and sex workers, high speed chases, Asian street gangs, African street gangs, spies and double agents, car explosions, and desperate flights down the fire escape from fabulous apartments. And Charlie Wax, the supposed good guy, wrecks more havoc, destruction and death than the terrorists do. The only things missing are a train crash, a bank robbery, an airplane hijacking, an environmental catastrophe, a nuclear accident, a crisis from outer space, and a newborn baby to reassure us that we do have a future after all. It’s very interesting. And fast. Not great cinema, but okay for a rainy afternoon, which is when I watched it.