‘From Paris with Love’ delivers explosive thrills

By Andy Rosenberg, Online Arts Editor

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James Bond better watch out because there’s a new face in town. Unlike the martini-sipping hero of yesteryear’s spy movies, From Paris with Love centers around the less refined Charlie Wax (John Travolta, The Taking of Pelham 123) and his much smarter counterpart James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Mission: Impossible III).

Reece works as the assistant to the U.S Ambassador to France while simultaneously aiding American special agents with less glamorous work like changing license plates and planting microphones. When Reece is asked to perform the “important” job of driving around Agent Wax he is displeased, however he accepts, hoping for a promotion. What Reece doesn’t know is that he is taking part in an effort to stop a major terrorist attack on Paris.

When his initial meeting with Agent Wax leads to a massive gunfight throughout the Parisian underworld, Reece is ready to run back to his desk job. However, when he realizes that the terrorist ring has been targeting him even before he met Wax, Reece reluctantly sides with Wax and together they neutralize a threat that could potentially cause major political crisis in not just France, but other nations of the world as well.

From Paris with Love provides the viewer with a new perspective on secret agent and spy movies by portraying one of the main characters, Wax, as a trigger-happy special agent more content with blowing stuff up than playing the stealthy role.

This type of character leaves room for brilliant special effects which play an important part in the movie and help enhance the already suspenseful plot. It’s fair to say that this movie has its share of car chases, explosions and gun fights.

Even with the interesting plot, characters and spectacular action scenes, From Paris with Love falls short on a few things. Like all films relating to the spy/secret agent genre, there are scenes which are blatantly unrealistic. These include government conduct toward threat and a few of the action scenes. Wax, while funny at times, makes the movie appear somewhat cheesy.

From Paris with Love is a definitely a movie worthy of a weekend trip to the theater with its interesting look at the spy genre and action scenes capable of raising one’s heart rate.