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Philly2Philly Movie Review: From Paris With Love

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From Paris With Love really shows they don't make them like they use to. It's a bang them up, shoot them up plot-less excursion that delivers on From Paris With Lovesheer entertainment and energy. From the title right down to John Travolta's  one hoop earring, the whole thing is very 80's—and that's a good thing!

The new testosterone fest has been engineered by genre veteran Luc Besson (5th Element, The Professional) and helmed by director Pierre Morel, who delivered big time on last year's thriller Taken. Both of these men know their target audience and more importantly how to please a crowd, which was very evident in the cheers produced from a recent test screening of the film.

The plot, however feels thin while unfolding and then even thinner once you've left the theater. Agent James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Myers) of the English Embassy is asked to join a special assignment that will grant him the promotion he's been anxiously awaiting. Without much information at all, he kisses his faithful girlfriend goodbye and travels to meet Charlie Wax (Travolta), who is already getting into trouble because French customs won't allow him to bring his energy drinks into the country.

This indicates the start of a wild ride. Wax is an unconventional hard ass to the extreme and James, is of course his methodical, wimpy juxtaposition. While Wax is shooting everything in his line of vision, Reece realizes that the secret job is in fact a mission to uncover a terrorist plot about to be launched in the next few days. Things get more interesting when it's revealed Reece plays a bigger part in the plan than he thought, and thus the two must figure it all out before the attack occurs.

From Paris With Love is pure dumb fun. It offers very little on the intelligent end, but who cares. Sometimes we just want to laugh and see things being blown up. The action is relentless and nonstop, sometimes cartoonish and sometimes positively thrilling as seen in a climactic car chase. Both Rhys Myers and Travolta are fine, obvious honors going to Travolta. His prejudiced, sexist pig is a relic of the 80's, and the lack of PC is ultimately the appeal. He curses a lot, with a nice Pulp Fiction reference late in the game. Myers offers more of an actual performance and an attempt at depth, which is something that can't be said for anyone else in the cast.

Don't go into From Paris With Love with any expectations other than to be decently entertained for a hour and a half. Those who switch the brain off will definitely be rewarded though. The action is swift, the performances fun and the hyperkinetic pace never lets up until the last frame. And where else can you watch Jonathan Rhys Myers dodge gunfire while running around aimlessly with a huge cocaine filled vase?