Partly, it's the quaint code of ethics espoused by this gentleman thief (Jason Statham), who shoots a guy in the leg before robbing him and then calls him an ambulance.
It's unusual enough, I suppose, that Parker will steal only from those "who can afford it" and hurt those "who deserve it," as he puts it. Shooting in an extremity, presumably, doesn't count as hurting.
That's understandable, considering that Parker seems to have a congenital insensitivity to pain. Covered in scars from previous injuries, Parker is shot -- twice -- and left for dead early in the film, when four accomplices in a robbery (Michael Chiklis, Wendell Pierce, Micah Hauptman and Clifton Collins Jr.) decide that they don't want to split the proceeds with him.
After being rescued by a farmer and self-medicating with a quick dose of stolen Demerol, Parker sets about hunting down the double-crossers, who are planning another heist, so he can enforce his Robin Hoodian moral code on them.
Although the outcome is never in doubt, it's satisfying, like pot roast and gravy.
With the assistance of an opportunistic real estate agent (Jennifer Lopez) who sort of becomes his partner in crime, Parker tracks down the other bad guys in Palm Beach.
There, while he waits for the new heist to go down, he kills time by avoiding a hit man (Daniel Bernhardt) who has been sent to kill him -- for good this time -- by the mobster (Kip Gilman) who employs his former confederates.
This entails a fight sequence in which Parker impales his own hand on the would-be assassin's knife, in order to disarm him. It's nauseatingly graphic, as well as pretty darn cool. Of course, Parker's back in business quickly after the injury, like Wolverine.
Although the reliably rocklike Statham lacks Hugh Jackman's zest, he makes for a dependably watchable warrior. With flashes of dark humor (in a script by John J. McLaughlin, based on Richard Stark's novel "Flashfire") and Lopez's sex appeal, "Parker" the movie, like the man, delivers exactly as promised.
A thief (Jason Stratham) is double-crossed by his crew and left for dead. He hooks up with a real estate agent (Jennifer Lopez) to wreak vengeance on the doublecrossers. Violence ensues.
Rated: R for violence, obscenity and nudity.
Showing: Alderwood, Everett Stadium, Galaxy Monroe, Marsyville, Thornton Place, Woodinville, Cascade Mall.
More Entertainment Headlines
‘Mission Impossible and Tom Cruise are starting to show their age Ex-‘Top Gear’ trio to host new car show for Amazon Prime 10:22 a.m. Thursday’s highlights on TV Paul Allen lures tech billionaires to Seattle Art Fair Tired jokes bog down latest ‘Vacation’ offering Wednesday’s highlights on TV Caitlyn Jenner reality show is light years away from ‘Kardashians’ Two expecting moms forge unlikely bond in ‘Unexpected’
Our to-do list full of ideas for your weekend
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.