Thursday Night Movie Club
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Release Date: 25 January 2013

Director: Taylor Hackford
Jason Statham
Jennifer Lopez
Michael Chiklis
Wendell Pierce
Clifton Collins Jr.
Bobby Cannavale
Patti LuPone
Carlos Carrasco
Micah A. Hauptman
Emma Booth
Nick Nolte
Daniel Bernhardt
Billy Slaughter
John Eyes
Carl J. Walker
Leslie Rodgers
Jake Fernandez
August Hardwicke
State Fair Security Guard Ben
State Fair Accounts Manager
Parker movie poster 1 Parker movie poster 2 Parker movie poster 3
Jason Statham as Parker in ParkerJason Statham is back in another action movie in Parker. Similar to Statham's role as "The Transporter", Porter is a man who has a strict code of conduct: Do what you say you are going to do.

Parker has plans to steal millions of dollars from the Ohio State Fair. Every detail is planned out including his disguise as a priest. Another member of the team poses as an ambulance technician. Two others are dressed as clowns. The caper goes according to plan except for Jake (Bobby Cannavale). Jake is responsible for setting a fire to act as a distraction while the robbers make their escape. Jake isn't fully focused on the mission. He sets the fire in the wrong location which results in a pedestrian's death.

Once on the road out of town, Parker's new partners ask if he would be interested in a large job they have planned. The money they just stole would act as their "seed" money for the next job. Parker has not worked with the men before and is leery after Jake's screw up. He declines. A struggle ensues and Parker is left for dead beside the road.

Michael Chiklis as Melander in ParkerThe remainder of the film is a whodunnit with some great action scenes and plenty of violence thrown in. This is basic Jason Statham faire, only the names and locations have been changed to make the movie seem fresh.

Statham is typically good as an action hero. Parker doesn't steal from the poor. He doesn't hurt anyone. He is also very adept at changing his appearance and with hot-wiring cars. Parker has a big heart. Parker takes time out from the robbery to calm Ohio State Security Guard Ben (Billy Slaughter) who is having a panic attack during the initial robbery. But, he is not one to be crossed. Then he is ruthless.

Jennifer Lopez plays Leslie Rodgers, a down-on-her-luck real estate agent. She is trying to make the one big sale on an estate in Palm Beach, Florida. Her car has been repossessed. Leslie lives with her mother Ascencion (Patti LuPone). She is in financial trouble. Any guesses on how her fortunes change by the end of the movie. You won't be surprised.

Jason Statham and Emma Booth in ParkerThe role of Leslie Rodgers can be played by anyone so the choice of Lopez seems like a marketing ploy. Leslie Rodgers is more plot point than character. Her character moves the film along as Parker uses Rodgers real estate knowledge to track Melander to the estate he will hide out in until the pressure dies down after the robbery. The role doesn't demand much acting prowess and Lopez doesn't add anything extra to the part. Leslie is falling in love with Parker, but his heart is already taken.

One of the more interesting characters is not in the movie very much. Emma Booth plays Claire, daughter of Hurley (Nick Nolte). Hurley provides Parker with the resources he needs to pull of his jobs. He is well paid for his efforts. Claire is in love with Parker. She sees the goodness and kindness in Parker while looking the other way on his nefarious business deals. Claire is more than just a pretty face with a great body. Claire is also resourceful, especially when a hitman comes calling to her house. She has an escape plan worked out. Claire is willing to come out of safe hiding to bandage Parker's wounds, which are plentiful. Parker avoids hospitals because they keep records. Emma Booth is pushed aside to make room for Lopez.

Jennifer Lopez and Jason Statham in ParkerMichael Chiklis is on hand as an adversary for Statham. Like Parker, Melander is the leader of his particular crew. He has been hired by a Chicago mobster to do the impossible, steal a fortune in diamond jewelry from an estate in Palm Beach. There is one major obstacle standing in their way. Palm Beach is an island connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. When a crime is committed, the island is sealed off and the criminals eventually apprehended.

Chiklis is good as the main heavy Melander. Melander is every bit as talented as Parker at planning and executing a heist. However, Melander does not have the high moral standards as Parker. If Parker won't join his crew, Melander leaves no one behind who knows what he is plotting. He does not believe in honor among thieves.

Jason Statham in ParkerThe action scenes in Parker are excellent. Two standout scenes feature Daniel Bernhardt as Krull, a silent assassin hired by the Chicago mobster to eliminate Parker and anyone who knows him. Bernhardt may not have a single spoken word in the movie, but he is very menacing. He glides along with stealth silently picking several locks on Claire's door. Only a creaky panel gives him away and Claire barely escapes. Bernhardt's fight with Statham is the signature fight scene in the film. The fight is exciting and brutal. Parker barely survives. Parker takes a beating but keeps on ticking.

Parker is a typical action film starring Jason Statham. There is nothing overly surprising in the film except for how Melander pulls off the daring robbery. Statham is better here playing a variety of aliases as he tracks Melander to his hideout. Nick Nolte looks as though he is about to take his last breadth at any moment. Maybe this is how he decided to play the role, seemingly always gasping.

Parker is an enjoyable action flick. Can Jason Statham make a bad action film? If action and mayhem fill your cup of tea, drink up!