Directed By: Taylor Hackford

Starring: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins, Jr., Bobby Canavale, and Nick Nolte

Jason Statham is one of the busiest action stars in the business, but it's rare that he actually produces something good.  In the last two years alone, he's appeared in The Mechanic, Killer Elite, and The Expendables 2.  This guy is clearly in the habit of making bad movies.  That's why it's so fitting for him to grace theaters during this January slump at the box office.  Parker is just another bad movie that bites the dust.

Thanks to his old partner Hurley (Nick Nolte), Parker (Statham) is set to make $200,000 doing a job at the Ohio State Fair.  He's working with an independent crew led by a guy named Melander (Michael Chiklis).  Parker and this crew pull off the job successfully, but there’s one problem.  Melander is going to need the whole score from this job for his next one, but Parker wants his cut now.  Because the two adamantly disagree, Melander tries to kill Parker.  He nearly succeeds when his junior partner August (Micah A. Hauptman) puts a bullet in Parker's chest.

Because of a kindhearted passerby, a severely wounded Parker is taken to a nearby hospital and survives the brutal assault by Melander and his buddies.  He calls Hurley to find out where Melander is.  Hurley reluctantly tells Parker that Melander is in West Palm Beach, Florida but also informs him that August has a lot of muscle because he's the nephew of Chicago mob boss Danzinger (Kip Gilman).  Regardless, Parker goes to Florida to settle the score with Melander and get what he is due.  To do so, Parker is going to steal from Melander whatever he and his crew steal in Florida.  Once he gets to the sunshine state to actually figure out how he’s going to do this, real estate agent Leslie Rodgers (Jennifer Lopez) becomes a valuable resource for him in finding out what Melander is planning.

Most terrible movies are just painful to watch, while others make us watch the clock out of boredom.  Parker fits the bill of the latter, and there's plenty of blame to go around.  Director Taylor Hackford does not deliver much action, which leaves us dependent on his dry storytelling.  Speaking of stories, the writing in this adaptation of Richard Stark’s Flashfire is pretty poor as well.  Most unfortunately, Jennifer Lopez gives us Leslie Rodgers, an irritating character that will undoubtedly ruffle some feathers.

I thought hell would freeze over before I ever uttered these words, but this Jason Statham movie needs more action.  There's only one reason to come see Statham on the big screen, and it's not his incredible acting prowess.  His horrible Texas accent definitely highlights the reality that he’s not a particularly gifted actor.  He is, however, an ass-kicking machine and a man bred for action movies.  For whatever reason, Statham is completely underutilized in Parker.  To an extent, this is because of the source material in Flashfire. With scars galore and plenty of broken ribs, Parker is simply not in fighting shape most of the film.  At the same time, a healthy chunk of that blame belongs squarely on the shoulders of director Taylor Hackford and screenwriter John J. McLaughlin for not bringing enough action to the movie.

McLaughlin offers an undeniably boring screenplay, and I have never been more tempted to get some shuteye during a movie.  Parker is like that class or meeting after lunch.  You're not going to get through it without a nap.  That nap gets harder and harder to fend off as the movie progresses.  Parker is supposed to be a crime thriller.  Given that there's a drought in the action department, this film needs to have some thrills to hold our attention.  Thanks to McLaughlin’s poorly written story, however, there's nothing even remotely thrilling about this film.  Like many January flicks, it's ultimately a snooze fest.

While I'd like to say that I've covered the worst of Parker, I'm just getting to J.Lo and her atrocious performance as the annoying West Palm Beach real estate agent Leslie Rodgers.  Lopez gives us a down-on-her-luck woman trying to keep up and pay the bills.  Frankly, I don't give a damn about her character's problems because her annoying performance gives me absolutely no reason to do so.  Instead of offering an unlikely partner in crime and delivering a few laughs, J.Lo gives us a whiny damsel in distress who's a third wheel to Statham and his girl.  That's not cool.  It certainly doesn't help that McLaughlin has given us a female lead who often makes stupid decisions.

With sparse action, poor writing, and an irritating performance from J.Lo, Parker definitely has some big problems.  The film is just not worth your while.  In fact, you couldn't pay me to see this boring movie again, not without some tequila slammers.  Even with some liquor, I still might not make it through this one a second time around.  Parker gets a wasted rating.