In terms of a typical Statham flick, this is somewhat below par.
Parker is a fairly standard Jason Statham action flick, with all you would expect from the ever-expanding sub-genre, but feels curiously flat throughout.
Opening with a heist scene featuring Parker (Statham) and a gang of criminals including Michael Chiklis robbing a state fair, our hero is betrayed and left for dead, prompting a trail of revenge across the country, with unwitting real estate agent Leslie (Jennifer Lopez) caught up in the action. Parker is never really fleshed out beyond a kind of Robin Hood figure, making a living as a professional thief while abiding by a personal ethical code.
Lopez is given a little more character to portray, with a gratingly ‘topical’ money-worries back story that gives us something to invest in, but as she accompanies Parker on a disappointingly hitch-free scheme, the plot does slow down a little too much. Parker is a little too indestructible, and is rarely given much of an obstacle to overcome, so we struggle to get too excited in the long gaps between action scenes.
When these do come, they are violent and crunching, but the fights are so few and far between the film loses energy quickly. This is made up for a little by some cracking one-liners from the lead, but in terms of a typical Statham flick, this is somewhat below par. Simply put, an action film needs more to happen than this, and Parker is just a little too on the dull side to really work. It’s unclear what director Taylor Hackford was shooting for here, the film ends up feeling a little anaemic, with not enough action, character, or even laughs to fill the running time.
A disappointment to Statham fans, with little to offer beyond a couple of chuckles and one or two kinetic fight scenes, Parker is a strange beast. A thriller that consistently fails to thrill, the charisma of the lead can only take a film this thin so far.