From Paris with Love (2009)

Rated: R for strong bloody violence throughout, drug content, pervasive language and brief sexuality.
Length: 92 minutes
Grade: DFFFF=F
Budget: $52 million
Box Office: $59 million (24 U.S., 28 Intl., 7 DVD)

Written by: Adi Hasak (Shadow Conspiracy) and Luc Besson (Transporter 1-3, Taken, Arthur and the Invisibles, Revolver, Unleashed, Kiss of the Dragon, Joan of Arc, Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita, and Big Blue)
Directed by: Pierre Morel (Taken)
Starring: John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers
With: Kasia Smutniak

Summary: An aide to the US ambassador to France gets entangled in stopping a terrorist plot when he is assigned to partner with a foul-mouthed American spy with an itchy trigger finger.

Entertainment Value: D
No more Luc Besson films, ever. The tragedy is that he is capable of such amazing things, like Revolver, but most of his films suffer the same inability of some filmmakers to distinguish between clever and vulgar. It’s like Pixar always says: story, story, story. You can’t build an entire movie around killing people and snorting cocaine, at least not if you want to make it work. The tragedy is that John Travolta can be a fantastic good guy/bad guy (Swordfish, Basic, Broken Arrow, Face-Off), but his recent films have been terrible. There are things in this movie that could have been made into something interesting, but the good stuff was either overwhelmed by the craziness of it all or not explained well enough to even make sense in the first place. I love a good action movie, and I know when I’ve been robbed of enjoying that pleasure by a pretender and failure like this.

Superficial Content: F
Drugs/Alcohol F, Sex/Nudity C, Violence F, Language F
The only bright spot here is that at least they declined to have any nudity or actual sex in a movie that clearly could have had much of it if they had wanted. Otherwise, everything here is as bad as it can be, and no children should watch this movie. One rare and awful thing: the heroes carry cocaine around in a vase all movie-long, snorting it occasionally.

Significant Content: F
Break all the rules, and eventually you’ll be the hero that saves the day, although the stupid politicians will never give you credit for it.

Artistic/Thought Value: F Seriously?

Discussion Questions:
I refuse to participate in this activity an longer.

Poignant or memorable scenes:
Do I look like I play board games?
Overall Grade: F
Completely worthless and ludicrous. I don’t give out many actual Fs for movies I watch all the way through. Usually, when it’s an F, I have enough sense to quit early. This is awful. If you want something set in France that’s FAR better to watch, go see Ronin again.

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