Parker (Blu-ray)

June 3, 2013 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

We are starting to see a return to more R rated action movies lately. With the success of The Expendables recently, the studios are hoping to bank on the success while the audience demands it. We’ve seen quite a few so far this year and each to varying degrees of success (both in terms of quality and box office). That brings us to Parker. Jason Statham stars as the title character. He is essentially a crook with a Robin Hood style code of conduct. He doesn’t rob from the less fortunate. As the film begins, we see a heist take place during a state carnival. The crew consists of five members (including Parker) and the heist is a success. When the crew wants to bring Parker in on another upcoming heist, he refuses. His crew decides that there is no further use for him. There is a small scuffle in the getaway vehicle and Parker is left for dead. This leads us to the middle of the film where Parker assumes a new identity and then meets Leslie Rogers (Jenifer Lopez).

The film begins with a bang and mostly maintains a steady pace, but there is a feeling that some additional editing would have helped. In an unusual turn, the Lopez character isn’t really a love interest to the Parker character. She is basically an unsuccessful real estate agent who thinks she has landed a major commission when Parker shows interest in one of her properties. She quickly catches onto his scheme and instead of ratting him out to the police the two of them decide to rob from Parker’s former crew. It’s a jewelry auction worth some $50 million. MichaelChiklis (TV’s The Shield) headlines the bank robbers and makes for a strong adversary to Parker. I wish he was given a bit more to do in the film, since he would have been a strong physical opponent to Parker.

Parker is one of many harder edged action films released this year. It’s a bit more serious than Stallone’s Bullet to the Head, but not quite as much fun as Arnold’s The Last Stand. I like that it doesn’t shy away from its action roots and gives us some nice full-fledged action scenes. Jason Statham seems perfectly capable for a role like this and the rest of the cast does a fine job. Nick Nolte plays the father of Parker’s girlfriend and also the guy who planned the job from the beginning. The film slows down quite a bit in its middle half, but picks up towards its climax. It may not be Statham’s best work, but it’s also not his worst. It makes for a decent rental for those who are curious.

Video: How does it look?

For such a recent film, Parker should look nothing short of excellent and it sure does. This is an AVC encoded 2.40:1 aspect ratio transfer. Everything is sharp and finely detailed. There are quite a few day scenes in the Florida sun and colors are well saturated. This is a fine and very detailed transfer.  Sony often puts top notch efforts into their day and date titles and this is certainly no exception.

Audio: How does it sound?

The 5.1 DTS HD sound is also top notch. All of the action comes across very strong and accurate. Dialogue is also crisp and clean sounding as well.  A few bullets whiz by here and there, some car chase scenes spice up the scenes all the while giving your speakers a pretty lively work out.  Staham’s films are known for a few things, and a robust soundtrack is among them.  Parker doesn’t disappoint in the audio department.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Where the disc shines in the A/V department, the same (sadly) cannot be said of the special features. This disappointed at the box office last January and that might explain its relative lack of special features. We get a commentary from director Taylor Hackford. This is a solid track, providing good notes about what inspired the project and the intentions going into the film. We get four short featurettes next. First up is “Bringing the Hunter to Life: The Making of Parker.” This goes for about seven minutes and gives us the usual behind-the-scenes notes. We hear from the cast and crew, but nothing here is too in depth. Up next is an “Origin of Parker” featurette. This goes for about four minutes so don’t expect too much here. It’s basically just a small background on the character. Next is a Broken Necks and Bloody Knuckles feature that goes for little over three minutes. This looks at the choreography and fight scenes. The last feature is a Who is Parker? feature. It is just two minutes, so don’t expect much at all. Lastly, we get some trailers for other Sony titles and an insert for a UV digital copy.

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