by Richard Barlow – The Corsair
“A truly wonderful thing about cinema is that it is an art form that serves as a medium by which any and all other art forms can be displayed. However, it is the mastery, and more importantly the blend of these art forms that determines the quality of the film.” -Richard Barlow
The preceding was sort of a brief overview of my general movie-going philosophy. I want my readers (all four of them) to understand that my opinion of a movie is spawned from the balance it strikes—balance meaning the sense of cohesiveness between acting, writing, cinematography, musical score etc. Unfortunately, “From Paris with Love” faired rather harshly against my little “ balance theory.”
By far, the heavy strength of this film was John Travolta. For those who haven’t seen the film, his character is basically a very skilled and highly sought after government operative. Though his methods are questionable, unorthodox, and possibly even illegal, he always seems to have a firm grasp on how to handle himself as well as the mission at hand. While this isn’t exactly a new concept, there was an additional tone of humorous arrogance that I found very entertaining. I believe that was a stroke of good judgment.
Sadly, the performances of the rest of the main cast seriously left something to be desired. I would write this off as bad acting, but strangely the writing was such that I had to give the actors the benefit of the doubt. It was the sort of situation where one would have trouble explaining the movie after having just left the theater. Not that it’s hard to understand, but that it just doesn’t keep one’s attention very well. As a result, “From Paris with Love” seemed to rely too heavily on Travolta, who was great (see paragraph three).
Overall, this film was very heavy on action and “Travolta-ness,” but a little too light on some other important cinematic elements. I give it three and a half out of five stars.