Parker (R) Director Taylor Hackford has been making movies for upwards of three decades now, which is only a small part of what makes his latest, Parker, so frustratingly awful. While the reasons why this has occurred is pure speculation, there is a sense that the 68-year-old Hackford, who hasn’t had a hit since Ray nearly a decade ago, is simply going through the motions. The pity in all of this is that there’s some potential here. The movie resurrects Donald E. Westlake’s callous, unrepentant anti-hero Parker, who was most famously played by Lee Marvin in John Boorman’s Point Blank (1967). Cast in the role is Jason Statham, modern cinema’s most charismatic and — if the Crank films, for instance, are any indication — least serious action hero. Parker should be a flippant revenge flick centered around an unscrupulous — yet likable — reprobate, played by one of the few actors who’s built for that sort of weightless role. But Hackford’s decided to make a straight-faced action flick with zero energy, fun, or forward momentum. There’s simply not enough plot to justify the nearly two hour running time. All we have is Parker out for revenge against the former partners who double-crossed him and left him for dead. Parker’s cast — who don’t seem to have been informed they’re acting in such a dreadful film — is the only thing keeping Hackford’s movie from being completely worthless, or being released straight to DVD.
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