Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘FROM PARIS WITH LOVE – Running Roughshod Over Paris with a Cheeseburger in Hand’
To paraphrase the legendary CIA operative Charlie Wax (John Travolta), From Paris with Love is a straight up Hong Kong, Shaw Brothers Kung Fu show with guns, drugs, and action galore. It is a film that pulls absolutely no punches. With a body county only surpassed by Travolta’s gratuitous use of the F-word, From Paris with Love cares very little for who it offends or for how outlandish its narrative is.
It is every bit in the vein of an 80s/90s action movie, and I love every minute of it. That admiration is due in large part to Travolta’s performance as Wax. He owns this movie, delivering every piece of dialogue with marvelous flair. Without him, From Paris with Love wouldn’t amount to much. He takes the asinine violence and sprinkles it with a necessary charisma, creating a rip-roaring thrill ride of broken bones, witticisms, and bullets.
Directed by Pierre Morel, who hit it big in the U.S. with Taken, and with a story written by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional, to name a few), the movie had the pedigree to be a major success at the box office and with fans. Unfortunately, it didn’t hit on either front. It bombed with critics/viewers. It sits at just 38% on Rotten Tomatoes with 160 reviews and carries a 54% user score. It was also a disappointment financially, grossing just over $52 million with a budget of the same amount.
But you should ignore all that. This movie came to kick butt and chew bubblegum; and guess what? It was all out of bubble gum! So sit back, grab a Kronenbourg 1664, and enjoy a delectable Royale with cheese as I the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK) and Chumpzilla run roughshod through Paris!
This Week’s Segments:
- Introduction – We break down this action masterpiece, dissecting Travolta’s best lines, the finest set piece/kill of the film, and more. (00:00)
- Wax on, Wax Off – Chumpzilla and I discuss how these other legendary Travolta characters would fare in a fight with Charlie Wax. (36:36)
- Recommendations – We provide our picks for the week and look forward to the next installment of Travolta Month—The Fanatic. (48:23)