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February 10, 2010 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-02-10

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I

10A - Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
i0
COURTESY OF UONSGATE
"Trust me, I'm a scientologist."
The buddy-cop film goes to 'Paris'
Travolta shows off seems menial to him, he couldn't its own hyperbole. It's endearingly
be happier with the love of his life, reflexive, and its witty self-depre-
his bling in blazing a French woman named Caroline cation doesn't seem desperate for
(Kasia Smutniak, "Barbarossa"). laughs. At the conclusion of one of
action flick After he implores the Agency to Wax's many stylized rampages, he

By TIMOTHY RABB
Daily Arts Writer
If you're the type of person who
hopes to gather some sort of pro-
found life lesson
from every film
you watch, don't
see "From Paris From Paris
with Love." Like
director Pierre
Morel's previous At Quality16
film "Taken," the and Showcase
plot thread is far- .
fetched, the kill Liansgate
count is astro-
nomical to the point of absurdity
and the ending is too predictable
to merit much more than a vacant
sigh. Even so, "Taken" and "Paris"
both share the advantage of being
damn good (albeit guilty) fun.
James Reece (Jonathan Rhys
Meyers, "August Rush") works as
a covert operative in Paris. Though
his position as a CIA errand-runner

promote him, he is paired with
Special Agent Charlie Wax (John
Travolta, "The Taking of Pelham
123") with the promise that he'll be
granted a promotion for doing odd
jobs as Wax's escort. Travolta does
an excellent job with his portrayal
of a vigilante cop whose excessive
bravado combines Dirty Harry and
Elmer Fudd. And let's not forgetthe
frequent one-line quips that would
make even Bruce Willis shudder
with repulsion.
Wax resembles a hybridbetween
a skinhead and a Prince fan - the
single garish bangle earring that
adorns his left ear paints a perfect
picture of pastiche, but not without
the aid of his multiple large rings,
imposing.chin strap and tight-fit-
ting leather jacket. There's even a
nostalgic reference to the "Royale
with cheese," an allusion that any
film lover acquainted with Taran-
tino willgreatly appreciate.
But what really sets "Paris" apart
is its ability to recognize and mock

triumphantly announces to his one
surviving victim, "Just remember
one thing: Wax on, wax off." Just
when we're afraid that the film
actually expects us to laugh at such
an absurd slogan, Reece steps into
mock his partner's inapt speech.
"From Paris with Love" is in
every way a buddy film, and it's
rare to see such good chemistry
between the buddies, especially
in a genre rife with rehashing. It's
really the perfect balance: Reece
keeps - Wax's overflowing '80s
masculinity in check, and Wax
acclimates Reece to the world of
frenetic excitement he so passion-
ately craves.
Though by no means worthy of
widespread critical acclaim - it's
just too formulaic - "Paris" con-
tinues Morel's tradition of thrill-
ingly shallow films. If you ever
find yourself feeling a bit empty-
headed, enjoy a matinee discount
screening of this movie and bathe
in its condemnable pleasure.

actually contributing to the artistic present an especially interesting
GEARY world. performance as he discusses his
From Page 9A "Creativity is much broader than passion for aphorisms and how
just the art world," Hamilton said. they have impacted him personally
"The series is grounds to focus on and professionally.
that the program brings in speak- how people use creativity effective- "He is a juggler, so I think he
ers to represent all types of creative ly in their work to make a differ- takes the words that he is discuss-
professions. These speakers, Geary ence in the world by transcending ing and the ideas of the aphorism
included, give students, faculty and traditions and being progressive in and brings it into a physical perfor-
the general public the opportunity some way." mance," Hamilton said. "And he is
to hear from practitioners who are Hamilton thinks Geary will highly entertaining."

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