Tag Archives: Pierre Morel

From Paris with Love (2010, Pierre Morel)

So, coming off their collaborative success of Taken, Morel and producer Luc Besson decide to… make a John Travolta star vehicle? It’s about ten years too late and probably something someone should have made before Battlefield: Earth. I mean, the endless Pulp Fiction references and the awful attempts at Tarantino-esque dialogue. It’s frequently painful.

In fact, the only amusing thing might be seeing the stuntman standing in for Travolta (whose got to be the biggest secret agent in a while), but the editing doesn’t even allow that small pleasure.

From Paris with Love has to be Besson’s biggest failure (at least as a producer of simple action pictures). He didn’t write the script, which is apparently a big mistake, since Paris is all over the place. It tries to use buzz words–terrorist–to get a lot of effect and it’s pretty lame throughout. There’s a compelling train wreck factor to it, however.

Travolta’s a little more restrained in one of the more miscast roles I can remember (it’s clearly a role for someone like Jean Reno) and he’s so wrong for the role, one feels sympathy. Jonathan Rhys Meyers–playing an American with a questionable accent–is awful. I kept waiting for Travolta’s brash, rude secret agent to make a comment about Rhys Meyers’s silly mustache.

Morel’s direction is weak, a bland action movie style. It’d probably be impossible to shoot this script well.

Kasia Smutniak and Richard Durden probably give the only two acceptable performances.

It’s lousy.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Pierre Morel; screenplay by Adi Hasak, based on a story by Luc Besson; director of photography, Michel Abramowicz; edited by Frédéric Thoraval; music by David Buckley; production designer, Jacques Bufnoir; produced by Besson, India Osborne and Virginie Silla; released by EuropaCorp.

Starring John Travolta (Charlie Wax), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (James Reece), Kasia Smutniak (Caroline), Richard Durden (Ambassador Bennington), Yin Bing (M. Wong), Amber Rose Revah (Nichole), Eric Godon (Foreign Minister) and François Bredon (The Thug).


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The Transporter (2002, Corey Yuen)

Matt Schulze worked again? Wow, I’m a little surprised. Schulze’s performance in The Transporter–wait, hold on, physical presence might be a more accurate description–is one of the worst things about the film. There really aren’t very many good things about it, though, to be fair to Schulze (is he worse than leading lady Shu Qi, yes, but a lot worse, no). It’s not really a disaster or a train wreck or a peculiarity, it’s just a waste of time.

The biggest culprit is Corey Yuen, who’s got to be one of the worst directors ever to make a film released theatrically by a major studio. Even if Fox just picked up Transporter, come on, he’s awful. He doesn’t understand the script, which might be the biggest problem, if one forgives his utterly lame composition and the rapid-fire editing of the action scenes (even if Jason Statham didn’t know martial arts and they created them in the editing, à la Matt Damon in the Bourne movies, it’d be better), the lack of expression is damning. The script has all these fantastic jokes and Yuen is dead to all of them. It’s tragic. Tragic.

Statham’s great, he and François Berléand are great together. They almost make this nonsense tolerable, then Shu Qi shows up, with writer slash producer Luc Besson objectifying her (and her awful performance) for a prospective American audience.

The Transporter also should not have been shot in Panavision aspect ratio, but good luck with that one.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Corey Yuen; written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen; director of photography, Pierre Morel; edited by Nicolas Trembasiewicz; music by Stanley Clarke; production designer, Hugues Tissandier; produced by Besson and Steve Chasman; released by 20th Century Fox.

Starring Jason Statham (Frank Martin), Shu Qi (Lai), Matt Schulze (Wall Street), François Berléand (Inspector Tarconi) and Ric Young (Mr. Kwai).


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