*While it’s title invokes images of the James Bond classic From Russia with Love, from Paris with Love is not an adaptation of another Fleming best-seller.
Rather, it is a relatively-bombastic remake which brazenly lifts a few of From Russia’s pivotal plot points while crediting Luc Besson and Adi Hasak for the screenplay.
In From Russia, Agent 007 traveled from London to the Soviet embassy in Istanbul to team with a low-level clerk who was unwittingly being played by a duplicitous villainess with a top secret, Cold War agenda. However, in this suspiciously-similar political potboiler, the CIA dispatches crack Agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta) from D.C. to the American embassy in Paris where he buddies-up with an ambitious clerk (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) who has previously only been assigned menial tasks like changing diplomats’ license plates.
The aspiring spy has just accepted a marriage proposal from his beautiful girlfriend Caroline (Kasia Smutniak), being blissfully unaware of the fey femme fatale’s mysterious link to the Middle East. But before the cozy couple barely has a chance toast their engagement, the grateful groom-to-be finds himself deputized by his new partner and drawn away to participate in a sting operation ostensibly aimed at the cocaine dealer responsible for the drug overdose of the Secretary of Defense’s daughter.
During the ensuing, ever-escalating series of bloody stakeouts, trigger-happy Charlie exhibits none of the charm, subtlety or elegance we’ve come to associate with sophisticated espionage work. Splatter fare featuring an almost infantile Ugly American with access to an infinite supply of live ammo, misbehaving like the proverbial bull in a china closet.
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated R for graphic violence, pervasive profanity, drug use and brief sexuality.
In English and French with subtitles.
Running time: 93 Minutes
Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Director’s audio commentary, a theatrical trailer, “The Making of” documentary, pus a couple of featurettes.
To order a copy of From Paris with Love on DVD, visit: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002ZG97O2?ie=UTF8&tag=thslfofire-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002ZG97O2