Seriously? There is no thread about the movie Parker with Jason Statham?

My wife and I just saw this film tonight, and enjoyed it tremendously. But it seems to have died at the box office, and is down to one showing a day at a 21 screen theater in Chicago. He’s got excellent co-stars in Jennifer Lopez and Michael Chiklis, and a more than competent director in Taylor Hackford. The plot made much more sense than 99% of the action movies out there, with an anti-hero who follows his own code of ethics. The script had a lot of witty lines, including one near the beginning that totally slayed me (I’ll have to see it again just to recall it.)

Glad you enjoyed. I plan to see it since I’ve read a lot of the Parker series. The critics have been pretty rough on it, and the studio clearly had no faith in it if they’re dumping it in the January/February months, so only the idly curious and diehard fans will catch it.

Well, from what I understand, it’s the first Parker film where he’s named “Parker”, so that might make the fans more critical. I have to confess, I’ve never read any of them, but the character was compelling and charismatic, and his moral code gave it a measure of depth. A.O. Scott of the New York Times quite liked it, reviewing it by the standards of the genre, as Ebert does.

And I’m glad to see good films in Crapuary. We don’t stop going to movies just because the studios prefer to load everything into summer and Christmas.

That was just goofy - Westlake wouldn’t let anyone use the name unless they agreed to do a series of films up front; I don’t know why he was so adamant about that. Now he’s dead so that’s out the window.

Statham strikes me as a good fit, based on the description in the books, except for the accent. It sounds as if, yet again, Hollywood made Parker nicer; no one’s ever comfortable with how ruthless he is in the books.

People are definitely freaked out by it, “people” in this case being represented by Jennifer Lopez as Leslie Rodgers:

Leslie Rodgers: How do you sleep at night?
Parker: I don’t drink coffee after 7.

But he goes out of his way to avoid killing anyone who doesn’t deserve it, and that is shown paying off by making witnesses less cooperative with the police. I don’t know if that is how it is in the books, but it made him a much more interesting character - someone neither particularly good nor bad, but moral.

There is a wonderful line by Patti LuPone who plays her mother Ascension. Leslie comes home to find Parker’s girlfriend Claire stitching him up. A soap opera fanatic, she obviously doesn’t think much of Leslie’s past relationships and says:

I liked the movie. From the previews I thought it was going to be a remake of the Mel Gibson movie Payback.

This is the first I heard of this being based on a series of books. I’d like more info on that. I’m always looking for another series to read. I’m Burning through Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels pretty quickly.

From what I understand, Payback was one of a number of Parker-derived movies that didn’t use the name, for reasons epbrown01 mentioned.

They’re based on Donald E. Westlake’s Parker series, under the Richard Stark pseudonym. The first novel, The Hunter, is what Payback was based on.

The movie was entertaining, though they went to some lengths to make Parker a bit of a folk hero, whereas in the books he’s got similar principles but is just plain ruthless. That led to some inconsistency for the character, such as how he dealt with his document maker.

I had never heard of it. It looks great though.

Darwyn Cooke, the amazing and retro-style comic book artist, has been putting out Parker adaptations as standalone graphic novels. I can’t recommend them highly enough. His designs are right out of the Mad Men era, and the writing is true to Westlake’s vision.

I’ve never heard of it either but will definitely see it when I get a chance.

Seems sensible though.

[spoiler]Kill him? Just one more dead body. Those things start to smell.

Keep him alive? Now he has a valuable resource who he can use again and again, as well as a reasonably resourceful person to make those dead bodies go away.

The latter seems a lot more sensible to me, and I’ve never murdered anyone.[/spoiler]

And how did Danzinger’s hit man find him in Palm Beach again? Killing Norte and leaving the whole pile of bodies there would have ended the trail to him.


Just saw it last night with Mrs. Mahaloth. We liked it, but we’d break it down like this:

  • The first 40 minutes with the initial heist and Parker’s betrayal were excellent.

  • The middle 20-30 minutes that introduced J. Lo were weak and poorly edited. J. Lo was fine, but the editing was odd and she felt forced in to the plot at that point.

  • Once it is established that J. Lo is going to aid Parker, the movie clicks back on track and the last 40 minutes or so were excellent.

It needed an editor to clean up the middle, but overall we really liked the movie and recommend it.