Parker (15) ***

Jason Statham as Parker.
Jason Statham as Parker.
Filmmakers Matthew Harrison and Summer Greenwood on the set of their short film, Son of Perdition Picture: Nathan Valentine

City filmmakers gear up to shoot next project after sealing cash grant from top international festival judges

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Adapted from the novel Flashfire by Donald E Westlake, Parker is an action thriller about a professional thief who is double-crossed by his team and then swears revenge.

The set-up is familiar and, regrettably, director Taylor Hackford and screenwriter John J McLaughlin lazily go through the motions, ticking off genre tropes without any sense of urgency or stylistic flair.

Bone-crunching fist fights, slickly edited heists and a gratuitous shower sex scene provide a tired framework for another emotionless performance from Jason Statham as the robber who only pilfers from the rich and


Innuendo-laden banter between his vengeance-seeking hero and a disposal supporting cast appears to have been recycled from the cutting room floor of bygone James Bond escapades.

Parker (Statham) accepts a job from his mentor Hurley (Nick Nolte) to steal a cool 1.5 million dollars from the Ohio State Fair, aided by an untested four-strong crew: Melander (Michael Chiklis), Carlson (Wendell Pierce), Hardwicke (Micah A Hauptman) and Ross (Clifton Collins Jr).

The robbery unfolds largely as planned, then Melander and his buddies turn on Parker, leaving the thief for dead by the roadside.

Miraculously, Parker survives multiple gunshot wounds and tracks the treacherous crew to Palm Beach, Florida, where they are plotting to steal jewels from a high-society auction. Posing as a rich Texan called Daniel Parmitt, Parker joins forces with cash-strapped estate agent Leslie Rogers (Jennifer Lopez) to kill Melander and fence the gems, worth an eye-watering 75 million dollars.

Parker is hamstrung by the awkward pairing of Statham and Lopez.

Anyone expecting a repeat of Lopez’s sexually charged pursuit of George Clooney in Out Of Sight, which practically melted celluloid, will be sorely disappointed.

Not so much Out Of Sight, Hackford’s film is certainly Out Of Mind as soon as the end credits roll.