From Paris with Love
By S. Jhoanna Robledo,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Disappointing thriller pours on the violence.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Six words: Be careful what you wish for. In this film, a worldly diplomat discovers that not everything is as it seems, and that what he has longed for all his life -- a big promotion -- may not measure up to the dream. But those disappointments pale in comparison to true heartache. Also, the movie's story reinforces the problematic idea that violence is a good problem-solving device.
Positive Role Models
Although neither James nor Charlie is particularly virtuous (nor, really, is anyone in this movie...), they do manage to gain each other's respect through hard work and loyalty. James manages to find compassion for someone who betrayed him because of love (though he does hurt her, too).
Violence & Scariness
Plenty of gunfights, with characters spraying bullets all over the place, their targets slumping on the floor, dead and bloodied. In one scene, people are thrown from great heights and shown hitting the ground. Both good and bad characters train their guns on people at point-blank range, sometimes pulling the trigger. Also lots of explosions, both on purpose and otherwise.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man picks up a prostitute and then proceeds to bed her. There's no nudity, but much moaning is heard. A couple kisses in one scene. The girl strips down and changes clothes while her boyfriend has his back turned.
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Abundant and often, including "bitch," "s--t," and "f--k" (and variations like "motherf---er"). Also, "goddamn" and "for Christ's sake" used as exclamations.
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Products & Purchases
Logos for cars.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cocaine rains down to the ground after undercover agents shoot up a ceiling; one of them collects it in a vase, from which they later snort small amounts. Also some social drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this overly elaborate action thriller is filled to the brim with gunfights, blood, and bullet-spraying sequences. It attempts to be more complex than the average shoot-'em-up, but the violence is so unrelenting that it becomes numbing. There's also lots of rough-and-tumble language (including "s--t" and "f--k"), scenes with drug imagery and use, and a sequence in which a man picks up a prostitute and has sex with her (no nudity shown, but plenty of moaning). The movie's political themes oversimplify present-day concerns about security.
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From Paris with Love
Based on 7 parent reviews
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What's the Story?
James Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) has an important job at the American embassy in Paris as an assistant to the ambassador, but he'd rather be a CIA agent. He's performed low-level jobs for the agency before, but nothing too exciting until he gets called on to pair up with Charlie Wax (John Travolta), a veteran agent with an unorthodox approach to the job. Right from the start, James isn't sure that he and Charlie make a good team, but there's no time to second-guess. A terrorist plot is unfolding that threatens national security.
Is It Any Good?
This movie's over-the-top and muddled, and discerning audiences aren't likely to feel the love. Director Pierre Morel clearly attended the school of buddy-cop action films: FROM PARIS WITH LOVE has nearly all the ingredients of an edge-of-your-seat thriller: carefully choreographed sequences, a torrent of fast-paced fights and chases, suspense. What's lacking? First, a plot that, at the very least, isn't so annoyingly convoluted as to distract from enjoying the movie in the first place. And chemistry between the two leads, which is passably awkward at best and tin-eared at worst. The partnership between James and Wax simply doesn't fly -- a problem considering its metamorphosis is somewhat essential to the story.
As the rogue Wax, Travolta impresses with his enthusiasm. But we never once forget that we're seeing Travolta playing "bad." As for Rhys Meyers -- his American accent is full of holes, with Britishisms leaking out everywhere. Though he's a fine actor, he doesn't seem fully comfortable playing this role. But, really, the problem's the plot, which panders to today's terrorist fears. And though film buffs may appreciate the Quentin Tarantino reference made by, of course, Travolta, it's yet another awkward moment in an overly violent, nuanced-starved enterprise.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the violence in this film. Do you feel emotionally affected by watching the gunshots and deaths? How is this experience different from what you would feel like if you saw these things in real life?
Charlie Wax appears to perform his duties with little emotional response. Is this necessary in his line of work? What makes him and James similar? Or different? What more relatable jobs require some emotional distance?
- In theaters: February 5, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: June 8, 2010
- Cast: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak
- Director: Pierre Morel
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong bloody violence throughout, drug content, pervasive language and brief sexuality
- Last updated: May 16, 2023
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