My friends, it is time to talk about this great land of ours, America or “‘Murka” to our brothers and sisters in the red states. Our country has taken quite the shellacking over the past few years. As a result, I think it’s wonderful when a film comes along to remind us about everything that makes this country great and today that film is From Paris with Love.
Jonathon Rhys-Myers breaks out the twerpiest American accent in his repertoire to play James Reece, a low-level assistant to the American Ambassador to France. However, Reece has dreams of getting his wetwork on and becoming a full-fledged member of the C.I.A. field operative club. So, when the shady voice on the other end of his mobile phone says that he’s about to have his first real audition, Reece jumps at the opportunity. The audition turns out to be driving super-agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta). They meet, exchange pleasantries, and then for the next 80 minutes, John Travolta GOES AMERICA ALL OVER FRANCE’S ASS!
I would go into more detail about the plot and other characters but to be honest, after watching the movie three times, I still have no clue what it’s about. You see, this film is not so much about story so much as a vehicle for John Travolta to try out yet another “interesting” hair and goatee combination, experiment with new and exciting combinations of foreign words and “motherf***er,” and chew more scenery than Homer Simpson in a theater made of chocolate.
Director Pierre Morel introduces Travolta as a loudmouthed, over-confident American jackass and, within five minutes of his first appearance, Travolta has single-handedly killed an entire Chinese restaurant, stolen a vase full of cocaine, and is following a lead to break a drug cartel/stop terrorism/fight crime/whatever-the-hell-this-movie-is-about. Here’s the confusing aspect though: the movie never stops entertaining! This movie is gold from start to finish and I think I figured out why.
The film is the ultimate piece of fan-service for people that love American military action in foreign countries. Charlie Wax, our surrogate for America, goes into France (because America always has to save France) to protect it from a terrorist threat (since we’ve pretty much taken care of all of ours) and proceeds to solve every one of France’s problems with his trusty Sig Sauer. He goes where he wants, shoots every other person he meets, and is never wrong when he thinks someone is a drug dealer or terrorist …and shoots them in the head … never misses. He has a wristwatch that has an uplink to a super secret satellite (that can track anyone), rocket launchers, and crashes through windows to save the day in the nick of time. He is every single thing we wish we were when go into other countries to “help.”
I’d say that the film was insulting to Americans in portraying us as gun-toting Rambo-esque jackasses if it weren’t for one thing: the movie’s just awesome and keeps the dream alive that one day God will bless the U.S. will have the pure victory we had in World War II. That, and it’s much less insulting to our intelligence than the History Channel.