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#29. Pah-kah (Lewis Can’t Lose).

2013. Taylor Hackford, director. John J. McLaughlin, writer. Taylor Hackfod, Les Alexander, Steve Chasman, Sidney Kimmel, and Jonathan Mitchell, producer. J. Michael Muro, cinematographer. Donald Westlake (as Richard Stark), author. 

Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins Jr., Bobby Cannavale, Patti Lupone, Carlos Carrasco, Michah Hauptman, Emma Booth, Nick Nolte, Daniel Bernhardt, Kip Gilman.

Miscast, misshot, miswritten, this movie seems to get nothing right. Apparently pretty true to the original 2000 Parker novel “Flashfire,” which is a shame because old Parker material would have been much more suited to Statham. Statham is the best part of this movie which says a lot considering the guy is a mediocre screen presence at best, but I can’t tell if it’s because of him as an actor, or because of the scripts/directors he works with. Emma Booth and her character pull in a close second, this film needed a lot more of her and a lot less of Nick Nolte mumbling incoherently. 

At least this movie has spurred me to finally seek out the other film versions of Westlake’s Man with the Bitchpunching Face, especially Jim Brown’s turn at the character in “The Split.”

Julie and I are currently working out our more in-depth thoughts on Parker, so more to follow. I don’t think we’ve even attempted to wrap our heads around Statham’s attempt at a Texas accent… it was better than Peter Stormare’s in The Last Stand in case anyone is keeping score this year. 

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