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"Parker": The Awful Adaptation We Deserve 

Wednesday, Jan 23 2013

A movie that fades from memory even as it's happening, this latest take on the noir-pulp novels of Donald E. Westlake glumly implies that every generation gets the adaptation it deserves. There was the nonpareil Point Blank for Lee Marvin in 1967, the perfunctory Payback for Mel Gibson in 1999, and now this Jason Statham-Jennifer Lopez thing, the dull parade of asses kicked and ogled. A blank-slate brute but not a bad guy, Statham's super thief finds himself double-crossed after a heist at the Ohio State Fair and bound for a jewel job in Palm Beach, Fla., where desperate divorcée realtor Lopez becomes his ally. His honor won't allow a hookup — never mind that parental supervision from Nick Nolte on his side and Patti Lupone on hers seems a tad lax — but as regards the settling of scores you could say he's bloody-minded, and the goon squad of fellow felons (Michael Chiklis, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins Jr.) doesn't stand a chance. Other undernourished background roles include one for Bobby Cannavale, squandered as an unproductive Florida cop. Writer John J. McLaughlin and director Taylor Hackford seem to understand each other; the film chugs along under power of mutual resolve not to try very hard. Sometimes B-movie slumming can feel like liberation, but this one's just a bore.

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.


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