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Young Simon (Jonaton S. Wächter) learns lessons from his mother (Helen Sjöholm) in the Swedish drama "Simon and the Oaks." Courtesy The Film Arcade
Film review: Good action, pokey plot in ‘Parker’
First Published Jan 24 2013 02:48 pm • Last Updated Feb 20 2013 12:17 pm

"Parker" delivers what you’d expect when you have Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez on a poster — he kicks butt, she shakes hers — but it’s a depressingly static exercise.

Statham plays Parker, the literary creation of the late Donald E. Westlake (under his alter ego Richard Stark), a tough thief with a code that emphasizes no killing of innocent bystanders and no double-crosses. Both happen after a heist at the Ohio State Fair, when his colleagues’ mistakes kill a fairgoer and their greed leads them to shoot Parker and leave him for dead.

At a glance



Opens Friday, Jan. 25, at theaters everywhere; rated R for strong violence, language throughout and brief sexual content/nudity; 118 minutes.

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He recovers and tracks his former crew to West Palm Beach, Fla., where they are planning a massive diamond heist. Parker wants to pinch the jewels from the thieves while also killing them. He enlists a struggling real-estate agent, Leslie Rodgers (that’s J-Lo), who rationalizes his plan by saying "everybody steals from somebody."

Director Taylor Hackford ("Ray," "An Officer and a Gentleman") provides some glossy images of south Florida excess, but John J. McLaughlin’s script slows the pacing with extraneous characters and a muddled plot.

Statham again proves he’s fine putting the hurt on baddies, but flounders during the movie’s faltering attempts at romance and drama.

movies@sltrib.com; www.sltrib.com/entertainment

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