In Paris, a young employee in the office of the US Ambassador (Myers) hooks up with an American spy (Travolta) looking to stop a terrorist attack in the city.
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If youíre looking for silly nonsensical action and one over the top performance by a bald gun totting John Travolta, well then Pierre Morel delivers just that in From Paris with Love. This new action adventure film is nothing short of ridiculous, implausible, and at times fun. Travolta clearly enjoys playing the hair deprived trigger happy American spy who gets a kick out things that go boom.
Throughout his long career, Travolta has certainly played a wide range of characters. Some good. Some not so much. But thereís one thing that remains consistent in his performances and thatís his complete indulgence of the character, and here heís no different.
James Reece (Meyers) is a personal US Ambassador living in Paris with his beautiful French girlfriend. Although he works full time as an Ambassador he desperately wants to be a CIA agent and experience some real action, like in a bond movie which the film clearly tries to be with a hint of Commando in it. So when heís offered his first senior-level assignment, he can't believe his good luck until he meets his new partner, special agent Charlie Wax (Travolta), a trigger-happy, wisecracking, loose cannon whoís been sent to Paris to stop a terrorist attack.
Wax leads James on a white-knuckle shooting spree through the Parisian underworld that has James praying for his desk job. But when James discovers he's a target of the same crime ring they're trying to bust, he realizes that Wax himself might be his only hope for making it through the next 48 hours alive.
At times the characters seem self aware of their over the top antics which actually does provide some witty humor to the rather witless violence and inane action. Thereís a scene where Wax takes out several Asian mob guys in an alley way in a matter of seconds, then turns around to James commenting on ridiculously cool he is. Thatís fine.
But thereís simply not enough of that self aware humor. Towards the end it gets a bit too serious with its plot and suddenly we find ourselves in a real thriller thatís no longer fun. It doesnít work. Unfortunately, throughout the third of the movie you didnít take any of it seriously, so when Morel shifts gears into a more earnest story it feels out of place.
Taken, starring Liam Neeson, was directed by Morel and follows along the same lines as a typical thriller. But it works. The reason is simply that in the first 15 minutes of the picture, the film established the tone. From Paris with Love changes its tone towards the end and itís really a shame. If they continued with the nonsensical action delivered with some wit from Travoltaís charismatic character, than it would have been a solid film. But thatís just not the case. From Paris with Love provided entertaining scenes and genuinely funny moments, just not enough. So for that, donít send your love to Paris.