Thursday, March 25, 2010

From Paris with Love - **

At times in the awkwardly titled From Paris with Love it feels like John Travolta is playing an annoying parody of himself, and it grows tiresome almost instantly. But he slowly works his way back into your good graces and makes a fun character out of it. Boy, I wish I could say the same of Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who is painful to watch from the start. To his credit, it is not all his fault. He is given absolutely zero to work with, playing a someone whose character arc is obvious from scene 1. He is the straight man to Travolta's "unpredictable" (you'll predict almost everything) wild man, which means he is burdened with the task of setting up every attempt at comedy, like when he sees Travolta meeting with a shady guy in an alley and walks back with a brown paper sack and has to say something like, "C'mon [Travolta], drugs? We're working, you can't get high!" Turns out it's just a pair of Royales with cheese. Oh, and that's not the only time that reference is made in the film, and all of these set-ups are as pathetic and poorly carried off as that one, but Travolta makes it work well enough not to hate it.

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