|$||72.5M||Iron Man 3|
|$||50.0M||The Great Gatsby (2013)|
|$||5.0M||Pain & Gain|
|As of May 13, 2013|
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ("The Tudors", Match Point) plays James Reece, a wannabe spy working as a gopher in the U.S. ambassador’s office in London, England. Reece is excited by the prospect of seeing real action, something of which he knows nothing about. He is engaged to the beautiful and endearing Caroline (pronounced Caroleene and played by Kasia Smutniak). Shortly after she proposed to our academic vanilla spy, Reece is promoted by the Ambassador and given the assignment of working with Charlie Wax (John Travolta). At first, I am sure most fans will roll their eyes as within one minute of meeting Reece, Wax goes off on a profanity-ridden tirade that we have heard one hundred times before and are still waiting to enjoy. That being said, the moment their adventure begins we are made to feel not only comfortable with Wax, but uncomfortable with Reece. Wax is so badass (pardon the following expletive) that he makes James Bond look like a pansy. Reece meanwhile might as well have a million frequent flyer miles because he is a total chicken. Working with Wax is part of the promotion. Reece clearly requires heavy-duty training and to disassociate himself from a carefree love infested lifestyle. Secret agents are not bookworms or romantics who crave daily affection.
Our new secret agent is alarmed when Wax informs him nobody will be going home until their mission is complete (he dares not keep Caroline waiting for too long!). Although Wax is unclear about the endgame, he is more than upfront about what each stage entails. Normally movies such as Shoot ‘Em Up make killing hundreds of professional hitmen look egregiously silly. Somehow, whether from expert choreographers or Travolta’s brilliant skill set, murdering dozens of criminals seems straightforward. At first Reece witnesses Wax obliterate an entire Chinese restaurant’s staff as though they were rank amateurs. Afterward in a fascinating scene Wax shoots holes in the ceiling and voila cocaine falls from the skies. Their prayers are answered. Reece is instructed to collect as much Bolivian marching powder as possible in an antique vase that is decorating the now defunct restaurant. The adventures continue as now Agent Reece learns a new lesson almost by the hour and painfully grows into being a deadly assassin.
Gradually we are made aware of the reason behind Wax’s pairing with Reece (Please read no further if you are not interested in a major spoiler). Apparently, Agent Reece’s exotic fiancé is a suicide bomber who has been using him for years as a way to get inside the Ambassador’s office. Her goal is to one day gain access to an international conference to wreak havoc on the West. She is not only a murderer, but a finely-trained deadly weapon. As aforementioned, moments before receiving the promotion to espionage agent, Caroline proposes to Reece. She gives him a rather large and gaudy ring allegedly from her grandfather. As it turns out the ring is a transmitter alerting the Middle Eastern terror cell of his and Wax’s location at all times. After destroying several terror cells, pimps, and assassins, Wax and Reece accept Caroline’s insistent dinner invitation. While ostensibly sitting down and enjoying dessert, Wax shoots a gaping hole into Caroline’s best friend’s head. He insists that Reece’s fiancé is a terrorist but of course, our love smitten fool refuses to believe it. For his troubles, his fiancé shoots him in the shoulder (a near miss from his heart). After chasing Caroline’s terror director, Wax climbs to a bridge and fires a bazooka (seriously, this is incredible footage) to prevent the bomber from hitting the Ambassador’s delegation on the highway. One crisis averted, one to go. Once inside the conference Reece has to locate Caroline in a Muslim outfit disguising her and helping her blend into the Middle Eastern part in attendance. Finally he finds her with C4 strapped to her entire body, ready to detonate and blow the whole building to smithereens. After trying to appeal to her love and compassion, Reece sees she will not be swayed and he shoots her in the skull. One tragedy averted, another made worse.
John Travolta has outdone himself in From Paris With Love. Despite looking like a total sleaze ball he is so unpredictable, wild and electrifying that one cannot take their eyes off him. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is charming and nonchalant in his own way and serves as a nice balance to his partner. Even so, Travolta has stolen the show and left Meyers looking amateurish himself. Teacher and student, mentor and learner, they become close friends. Somehow in the middle of being on the verge of dying for days straight with no showers or sleep, Meyers manages to provide Travolta with a Royale with Cheese (Pulp Fiction reference not lost on most viewers). Finally, I would suggest to Travolta that he trim the goatee just a fraction, and that Meyers should learn to speak with an American accent if he intends to portray one. Maybe ask Hugh Laurie for help? A tour de force, good show boys!
Copyright © 2010 Screen Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
Certain product data © 2010-present Screen Media, Inc. For personal use only. All rights reserved.