DVD Review: From Paris With Love

From Paris with Love DVD Review: From Paris With Love

From Paris With Love is a confused action/spy flick that feels like its being made up on the fly. Poorly written but energetically staged by action maestro Pierre Morel, From Paris With Love is worth a rental, if not quite a purchase.

John Travolta (hammy, with a shaved head) plays a nasty American agent named Charlie Wax who comes to Paris to team with an assistant to the ambassador played by a bland Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Meyers can be an effective (if one note) actor when he’s given the chance to use his full model looks to pout and sneer (as on the Showtime series The Tudors), but he’s wobbly here, with his American accent coming and going at will.

The films starts as a clever critique of the “ugly American” syndrome but eventually loses its way and never recovers from a dark twist. The film has an unsavory view of minorities and those nasty Islamic fundamentalists rear their head as the movie becomes a misguided right wing war on terror. It was far more effective as a campy, violent buddy flick.

The DVD is sharp and clear and the audio is good. Most of the special features are lame but the behind the scenes footage is fun and Travolta makes for an engaging personality. His enthusiasm is the best thing about the movie.

Misguided politics and idiotic plotting aside, From Paris With Love is big, dumb, loud, and generally fun. The problem is that it’s a big step down from Morel’s previous films, District B13 and Taken, both far superior to From Paris With Love. Taken feels more urgent with each viewing while From Paris With Love is basically a rainy day time-waster with a pudgy, hammy Mr Clean as its central appeal.

DVD Grade: B-

pixel DVD Review: From Paris With Love

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