Parker (2013)

Parker is an action film based on the novel Flashfire (Parker #19) by Richard Stark (pen name of Donald E. Westlake). It features Jason Statham as tough-as-nails skilled robber Parker.

English: Jason Statham at the Toronto Internat...

English: Jason Statham at the Toronto International Film Festival 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Based on the advice of his mentor Hurley (Nick Nolte), Parker teams up with a gang for a big job. The gang is headed by Melander {Michael Chiklis who did some great acting as Vic Mackey in The Shield tv series} and includes wheeler-dealer August Hardwicke {Micah A. Hauptman}, driver and lookout Carlson {Wendell Pierce} and gun-wielder Ross{Clifton Collins Jr}. Together, Parker and the gang pull off a heist at the Ohio State Fair. The group grabs $1 million but Parker is upset with an diversionary fire set during the robbery. His instruction was ignored by Hardwicke and Parker thinks it will create further problems down the road. 

While making the getaway, Melander shares the idea of plan of a much larger robbery with  Parker. This time Melander’s gang and Parker would target jewels worth millions. However, Parker wants to take his share, have nothing more to do with the gang, and does not consider the idea of illegally selling jewels to be a good idea. Melander does not like the idea of Parker knowing about the plan and not participating in it. Tension explodes between Parker and Melander’s gang and there is a fight in the getaway vehicle. Ross misses with his shotgun but Melander and Hardwicke shoot Parker and leave him on the road for dead.

Parker is discovered and taken to the hospital by some do-gooders. He escapes from the hospital upon waking up and starts tracking down the gang. Melander discovers that Parker is looking out for the gang and gets Hardwicke to contract an assassin named Kroll {Daniel Bernhardt} through his contacts. Meanwhile Parker reaches Palm Beach, where he uses the local knowledge of down-on-luck estate agent Leslie Rodgers {Jennifer Lopez} to trace the house used by Melander and the gang. The movie ends predictably, with Parker killing the assassin, bumping off Melander and other gang members {with some help from Leslie}, shooting dead the original boss and his guards in Chicago, and splitting the proceeds with Leslie and the samaritans who saved him.

I understood the idea of taking Jennifer Lopez for the movie, {I guess it would’ve peaked interest among her fans like me} but frankly the role did not seem so great. Jason Statham does well in the action scenes particularly in the fight with Bernhardt. The Flashfire story is one of several Donald E. Westlake contributions to film, including several Parker-novel based films {Point Blank, Pillaged/ Mise a Sac, The Split, The Outfit, Slayground and Payback}. I found the idea, of other robbers shooting Parker, slightly similar to The Hunter {Parker #1} which was adapted twice as Point Blank and Payback.

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