Director: Pierre Morel Release Date: February 26 Review by Lindsay Robertson A high-octane thriller with government agents in pursuit of terrorists. A goofy buddy movie with larger-than-life characters and corny one-liners. A mindless carnage-fest with big guns blazing and shit blowing up left, right and centre. From Paris with Love fails miserably in its efforts to be all of the above. Judging by the taglines (“The deadliest weapons are the ones we love the most”), over-the-top violence would appear to be one of this movie’s biggest selling points. There’s also been a moderate degree of hype over John Travolta’s portrayal of “unorthodox” CIA Agent Charlie Wax - be warned the phrase “Wax On, Wax Off” is actually used as smack talk. While it’s admirable that an actor of his age is still capable of performing the necessary stunts, this doesn’t make it the least bit entertaining to watch. You’ve got to feel sorry for Travolta while watching this and hoping that he was allowed to stop between takes for a wee cup of tea and a nap. His laboured physical performance come across as quite pathetic and is not aided in the slightest by the choreography or edited. Pyromaniacs will be equally disappointed to find out that all the decent explosions were shown in the trailer. For a film that markets itself on kabooms, they’re remarkably few and far between. With likable characters and smart dialogue, this botched effort may have passed as tolerable, but any hope of this is dashed to bits just upon listening to the set-up. While Travolta plays the outrageous one (read: “obnoxious, loud American stereotype”) Jonathan Rhys Meyers character is – wait for it - a straight-laced, sensible sort with everything to lose. Heeeelarious and original as this unlikely pairing promises to be, these characters suffer from wafer thin back stories and no genuine sense of conflict or comeraderie between each other. The supporting cast contribute absolutely nothing to this either. Kasia Smutniak is unashamedly pedalled as eye candy (stripping to her undies after approximately twenty seconds on screen, because the French are like that apparently) until the ham fisted plot twist is unveiled but never really explained. She and Rhys Meyers find themselves at the centre of the film’s climax in what has got to be one of the least compelling and most laughable dramatic scenes ever committed to film. Now, don’t be fooled into thinking that, like so many action flicks of its kind, that this might be a fun movie when taken from a “so bad, it’s good” perspective. Despite its moronic plotlines, ludicrous set-ups and god-awful dialogue, it’s boring as hell to sit through. The sheer stupidity of many scenes is just baffling rather than amusing. For instance, nobody in the city of Paris seems to give a hoot while Travolta is hanging out of a speeding car wielding a bazooka. Nor does anyone bat an eyelid when Jonathan Rhys Meyers is snorting fistfuls of coke from a giant vase he’s been carrying in broad daylight atop the Eiffel sodding Tower. Scenarios jump from mindless scenes such as these to the director’s portrayal of a gritty underworld and all its horrors - no audience in the world could be expected to swallow that. The film truly hits rock bottom when the script reveals such desperation for a cheap gag that it actually resorts to making reference to a good movie Travolta starred in many years ago. Royale with cheese? Oh no, they didn’t! From Paris with Love tries to be a great many things, all of which have been done to death in the past and none of which come off well even for an instant. In its efforts to be edgy, slick and clever it falls flat on its derriere at every turn. Absolute merde. Rating:1/10