A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Parker focuses on a career thief (Jason Statham) bent on revenge after his gang double crosses him and leaves him for dead. His quest for vengeance leaves a body count in his wake. There are also lots of intense fight scenes, involving guns, knives, fists, and even a few pieces of furniture, and there's plenty of blood. Some of the characters drink, and most of them swear throughout the film, managing to weave "f--k" (and more) into even everyday conversation. There are brief flashes of nudity, though the film is surprisingly devoid of romance, even with co-star Jennifer Lopez trying her best to seduce Parker.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Parker (Jason Statham) is a career criminal on the hunt for his former gang, the men who double-crossed him after a huge heist, stole his share, and left him for dead. Parker has a code, you see, and he can't abide by people who don't keep their word. Eventually, he tracks his quarry to Palm Beach, where he hooks up with a local real estate agent (Jennifer Lopez) who helps him find the house where the gang is holed up, cooking up their next big job. Parker plans to disrupt their scheme, while Lopez tries to get in on the action.
Is it any good?
While the action scenes manage to thrill, ultimately, Parker disappoints. Here's the biggest question you'll have after seeing this movie: Why cast an actress as charismatic as Jennifer Lopez if you're not going to use her skills to the fullest? For that matter, why cast Nick Nolte, too, in a thankless role as a confidante and mentor of sorts to Parker? And Michael Chiklis?
The whole movie, in fact, seems like an exercise in casting big-name stars with talent in a film that's mediocre at best. Even Statham deserves better; though his range may be more limited than Nolte's, he has an appealing, endearing sincerity that could have worked very well here, had he not been extra hampered by a limited script with rote dialogue and a massive heist at the heart of it that seems simplistic at best.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Parker's code of behavior. Is it OK for him to steal from people who can afford it or to hurt people who've wronged him? Is there such a thing as an "honorable" thief?
Why does Jennifer Lopez's character try to get involved in Parker's scheme? Why does she seem to relish the idea of getting deeper into a criminal plot?
How does the movie's violence compare to other action thrillers you've seen?
- In theaters: January 25, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: May 21, 2013
- Cast: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis
- Director: Taylor Hackford
- Studio: FilmDistrict
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 118 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong language, violence throughout and brief sexual content/nudity