Newest Reviews
Days of the Bagnold Summer
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
  From Paris With Love Travolta gets his Royale with Cheese
Year: 2010
Director: Pierre Morel
Stars: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak, Richard Durden, Yin Bing, Amber Rose Revah, Eric Godon, François Bredon, Chems Dahmani, Sami Darr, Julien Hagnery, Mostéfa Stiti, Rebecca Dayan, Michaël Vander-Meiren, Didier Constant
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) leads a chic Parisian lifestyle with his beautiful French fiancé, Caroline (Kasia Smutniak), but wants a little more from his job as an intelligence operative liaising with the American ambassador (Richard Durden). He gets that chance when partnered with top C.I.A. agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta), who turns out to be not the suave James Bond-type Reece was expecting, but a gargantuan, chrome-domed, foul-mouthed, soldier of fortune. In pursuit of an international drug cartel, Wax turns his callow partner’s life upside down and leaves a trail of chaos in his wake, but when the pair uncover a terrorist plot things hit a lot closer to home for Reese.

From Paris With Love is a typical high-octane/low-substance Luc Besson production but made with tremendous verve and panache. A glossy variation on the age-old mismatched partners story while also something of a spy spoof, this plays a better joke than xXx (2002). Whereas Vin Diesel’s superficially similar bald brute was all bad attitude and not much else, Charlie Wax is not quite the amoral, antisocial bastard he appears to be. No matter how outrageous or borderline psychotic, there is a reason behind his every action and though rough around the edges, he proves every bit as much a connoisseur of fine foods, fast cars and beautiful women as 007.

Travolta gives it the full-tilt boogie, doing his best work since Face/Off (1997). Co-writers Besson and Adi Hasak mimic the pop culture patter of his legendary turn in Pulp Fiction (1994), right down to reuniting him with his “royale with cheese”! And it’s lots of fun watching him play one-man army taking on multi-ethnic gang-bangers a dozen at a time (“Tell me that wasn’t some impressive shit!” Rhys Meyers is a trifle low-key but this fits his role. He pulls off the deadpan comedy has the verbal dexterity to make a convincing multi-linguist.

Coming after the grim and gritty Taken (2008), regular-Besson collaborator Pierre Morel plays this one breezy and humorous. He keeps up a helter-skelter pace, relishing the wise-cracking script though the writers spring a late-hour, cynical shock twist. Besson and Hassak trade in broad clichés about brash Yanks and rude Frenchmen but some may object to the hero-worship of gung-ho C.I.A. agents while the inclusion of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists seems in questionable taste. The story is nonsensical but knows it, as illustrated in a witty joke wherein audience stand-in Reese is too coked-up to decipher Wax’s breathless explanation of the plot. The action scenes are visceral and spectacular, if anonymous including Morel’s obligatory free-running sequence. John Woo has his doves. Pierre Morel has his free-running. It’s a one-night stand movie, frenzied and fun. You won’t remember much afterwards, but won’t hate yourself either.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 2441 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith


Last Updated: