Film: "From Paris With Love"; Director: Pierre Morel; Cast: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak; Rating: *1/2
Luc Besson began his film career on a firm ground with "The Last Combat". Not many debutant directors get away with a silent film. He did. Sadly, what he has been doing since is a perfect example of potential gone waste. Like "From Paris With Love", based on his story and which he has produced.
Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent, working with the American Embassy in Paris, who has a loving girlfriend in Caroline (Kasia Smutniak). He gets an assignment to pick up a CIA operative who is on a mission Reece is clueless about.
The operative, Wax (John Travolta), has methods that are not even closely textbook. Reece is angry when Wax pushes him to the edge of his patience without telling him about the mission. However, when they do find out, Reece discovers he is deeper in this mess then he had ever expected.
"From Paris With Love" begins with a barrage of cliches. A decent cine-watcher can literally predict almost every single line that the characters speak before they do. And it continues for one third of the movie. However, things get better when the action starts. Though there's nothing original about the action either, the sharp editing, cars blowing up and rockets being fired, up the ante.
Travolta plays an agent who never works by the book. Nothing original in that either. What is original perhaps is the amount of attention this secret agent draws to himself. You often end up wondering how he became one in the first place.
Overall, if you are an action junkie, you might enjoy a few scenes in this predictable thriller. But if you are expecting jaw-dropping stunts that Hollywood is famous for, you had better give this film a miss.