The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Lots of love for ‘Paris’

John Travolta (right) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (left) star in 'From Paris with Love,' opening in theaters Feb.5. Photo courtesy of Lionsgate Publicity.

Star rating: 4 out of 5

With terrorist attacks, drug busts, romance and gun battles, the new movie from Lionsgate, “From Paris With Love,” has it all.

This 90- minute movie will have you at the edge of your seat, and will suck you into the secret life of a CIA agent. Directed by Pierre Morel, known for directing 2008’s box office hit, “Taken,” “From Paris With Love” presents a different twist to elements of an ordinary action thriller, and is definitely worth seeing.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers, known for his role as King Henry VIII in “The Tudors,” is the handsome, debonair James Reese. With Carolina, his stunning French live-in girlfriend, played by newcomer Kasia Smutniak, Reese has an enviable life that most would kill for. However, Reese is not your average Joe.

Living a double life, as the personal aide to the U.S. Ambassador in France, as well as a low-level operative for the CIA, Reese’s true passion is to become a bona fide agent and actually witness some real action. With his conservative, responsible nature, Reese finally gets his big break when he is offered his first senior-level assignment with a new partner. Enter John Travolta.

Academy Award Nominee and Golden Globe Award winner, John Travolta, is crazy Charlie Wax, Reese’s new assigned partner. Wax is a sharp-tongued, loose cannon who is eccentric and dedicated when it comes to his work. His trigger-happy attitude and no-mercy motto sometimes leaves him teetering along the boarder between good and evil.

Fortunately, he tends to always be one step ahead of his enemy, and his superhero persona gives the impression that he is invincible.

Complex as he may be, Wax’s witty remarks and clever one-liners add comedic relief to many of the suspenseful action scenes.

Apparently destined to save the day, despite his preference for resolving any problem with the most outrageous and violent response possible, there is never a dull moment when you’re around Wax, leaving Reese praying just to finish the mission alive.

With the fine acting skills of Rhys Meyers and Travolta, they were able to create a believable, on-screen partnership that adds camaraderie to the film. Their distinct, opposite personalities complimented each other nicely, and influenced an overall comedic touch to the movie.

Travolta’s foul mouth, over-the-top performance is perhaps the reason why the movie is rated R. It is a far cry from his role in “Hairspray,” and it is imaginable that many viewers will be shocked to see him in such a diverse role.

While some may argue that it is just another buddy cop flick, such as “Rush Hour” or “Bad Boys,” this film adds an organic appeal to Reese and Wax’s mission.

With any movie, there is always room for criticism. To be honest, at times it was slightly difficult to distinguish who was shooting at whom. In addition, although the fighting scenes were not extremely gory, they could have been less frequent.

It seemed like every other scene was another gun battle with Wax as the center of attention. At times Reese was overshadowed by Wax’s outrageous behavior.

There was also a noticeable pattern with the use of suspenseful music. Often times, the music was used to gain the viewer’s complete attention but eventually led to nothing. The amount of different places where the scenes took place, and various faces of the enemies also made the movie somewhat hard to follow.

Think of each scene as a puzzle piece, with the audience not understanding the full picture until the very end.

All in all, “From Paris With Love” was a thrill to see, and did it’s purpose to keep the audience entertained. In fact, I have no trouble recommending the movie and would actually like to see it again when it hits theaters on Feb. 5.

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