From Paris With Love surprised me in many ways. Initially, the thought of John Travolta doing a slightly different version of his character from The Taking of Pelham 123, just didn’t appeal to me. I walked in expecting to laugh and cringe at how horrible it was, but soon discovered that it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It’s not an epic action film that leaves a mark on your life like the first Die Hard, but it has its moments. So, laughter – yes, cringing – minimal.

The Players:

  • Director: Pierre Morel
  • Writers: Adi Hasak (screenplay), Luc Besson (story)
  • Cast: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak, Richard Durden, Ying Bing
  • Cinematography: Michel Abramowicz
  • Music: David Buckley

James Reese (Meyers) is a personal aide to the US Ambassador in France with a side job helping the CIA clean up messes by changing license plates on cars, low level stuff. He is also in love with a beautiful French woman (Smutniak) who proposes to him the night he is given the opportunity he has been waiting for, the chance to become a bonafide secret agent. This is where we meet his new partner, FBI Agent Charlie Wax (Travolta). Wax is a wildman. He doesn’t follow protocol and gets things done in his own way. Reese is uncomfortable. He’s not a man of action. He is a thinker. He likes chess. He can’t call his fiancé because his phone is out of batteries.


I was on the edge of my seat and smiling for most of the movie, loving the little homages to Travolta’s character in Pulp Fiction. It was also great that every time there was an opportunity to break some glass, they made it happen. If you want to see a movie that’s not top of the line, but partially entertaining, this is it. Because even though it’s not groundbreaking, I still enjoyed myself.

Rating: 7/10

From Paris With Love hits theaters February 5th.

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