Eleanor Ringel’s Movie Review: From Paris with Love

By Eleanor Ringel Cater
Special to SaportaReport

There’s nothing here but lots of nothing, done to a turn by John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“Match Point”) as his clueless partner/straight man.

That’s meant to be a compliment.

This pleasantly overloaded hokum casts Rhys Meyers as a diplomatic aide in Paris with 007 dreams. They are fulfilled — and then some— when he’s assigned to drive a cue-headed, playful-mode-full-on Travolta (there’s even a hamburger joke meant to evoke his Great Comeback in “Pulp Fiction.”)

The pair race around Paris (or some clever facsimile) tracking down…well, that’s for me and Travolta to know and you to find out. I actually guessed the final twist rather early (unusual for me), but I found myself having such guilty-pleasure fun watching Travolta showboat like there is no tomorrow, I stayed ’till the end.

“From Paris With Love” has been put together by much the same team as last year’s “Taken,” — a more serious spin on the vengeance/chase movie, with a decidedly more morose Liam Neeson, and blood bags that didn’t look like they’ve been sitting around since Chuck Norris’s last movie.

This thing is fun. Dumb fun. Overdone fun. But, unlike Travolta’s insulting “Wild Hogs,” fun that doesn’t make you feel cheated or angry or even mildly insulted. Travolta and Rhys Meyers make a a perfectly-odd odd couple and both seem to having some sort of good time. Hopefully, if you lower your expectations to comic-book level, you will, too.

Eleanor Ringel, Movie Critic, was the film critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for almost 30 years. She was nominated multiple times for a Pulitzer Prize. She won the Best of Cox Critic, IMAGE Film & Video and Women In Film awards. An Atlanta native, she graduated from Westminster and Brown University. She was the critic on WXIA’s Noonday, a member of Entertainment Weekly's Critics Grid and wrote TV Guide’s movie/DVD. She is member of the National Society of Film Critics and currently talks about movies on WMLB and writes the Time Out column for the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

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