From Paris With Love: Message Received.

Movie:From Paris With Love
Director:Pierre Morel
Starring:John Travolta
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Kasia Smutniak
Richard Durden

        We all know that the peoples of The U.S. and France sometimes look at each other with stereotype and contempt. At their worst, The French see us as aggressive, uncouth bumpkins. At our worst, we see them as snobby, condescending elitists. We all also know that, at times, our respective national interests come into conflict, most recently in The U.S. War on Terror. We Americans responded to France's cold shoulder then by boycotting their wines and by ordering “Freedom Fries”. Since then, our animosities have simmered a bit. France elected a moderate conservative President who actually likes The U.S. And we, unfortunately, elected one who makes France's worst America hater look like a piker.

        So, recognizing that there's been recent rough seas between our two countries, I would also like to recognize that, despite all of our mutual sniping, when push comes to shove, we Americans and The French join hands and lock arms. We have come to France's aid in more than one World War and France was indispensable in helping us win our independence from England. I am reminded daily on my drive to work, as I pass a field where Rochambeau camped his troops, of France's contribution to this country's liberty. I would like to ask you also to remember these things and to urge you, as strongly as I can, do not, because of past animosities, miss the film "From Paris With Love". If you do, you will be missing something important.

        Let me say this, you know that things are really bad when the only pro-American movie in ages was made in France.

        Director Peter Morel of “Transporter” and writer Luc Besson, director of “The Big Blue”, “La Femme Nikita”, “The Messenger”, “The Fifth Element”, “The Professional”, and other films, contribute in making “From Paris with Love”. On the surface the movie looks like and is marketed as an “unlikely buddy” movie which is set in Europe. Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays James Reese, a level headed U.S. Foreign Service employee who works in the embassy by day and for a C.I.A. like organization by night. His big break in the agency comes when he is asked to pick up his new “partner”, Charlie Wax, played by John Travolta. Wax is the stereotypical cocky, rude, American cowboy type of cop. From the moment they meet, Reese looks on with comic horror as Wax goes into Paris, guns a-blazin' non-stop until the job is done.

        Now, normally I would object to this portrayal of Americans and the police. However, Besson and Morel portray Wax like this for a reason. And that reason is that France is at the point where they can no longer ignore the Islamic Fundamentalism which has permeated their entire society. France's own brand of P.C. still refers to “gangs of youths” engaged in vandalism and violence, never once mentioning the common thread between all of these “youths”, radical Islam. These “youths” attend sporting events and boo the French National Anthem and any non-Islamic player. These “youths” torch cars in the street and claim it's a protest against unemployment and French discrimination. Besson attempted to pay off some of these “youths” for "protection" by hiring them as “Security” during the filming of “From Paris With Love”. These "youths" showed their appreciation of that employment by torching ten of the film crew's cars.

        France, in fact all of Europe, is a mess with this same problem which a delusional P.C. faction refuses to allow to be correctly identified. However, despite them, Besson and Morel have made a movie which directly addresses this problem, and it is a movie with a message. The message in "From Paris With Love" is this: yes, Americans can be cocky and uncouth; yes, they can be a bit pompous with their power; but the worst thing they ever brought to France was McDonald's fast food; and that's far more preferable than our current group of drug dealing, anthem booing, car torching “youths” who every once in a while go maniac with a death wish and a suicide belt.

        In short, Besson and Morel “get it”. I'm not sure what political leaning either men are, but when Reese's character goes from asking, “What if it's never over, what if we can't beat these guys?”, to realizing that, no matter how hard you try, some people would rather jump than step back from the edge, their personal leanings do not matter, they “get it”.

        The mainstream critics will aggressively pan this movie. They will go out of their way to tell all who will listen what a truly bad movie this is. They will do so because either the story offends their delicate sensibilities or because they also understand the message which Morel and Besson are conveying.

        I, however, do not pan this move. In fact, as the story faded to black and the credits were about to roll, I shouted out loud for the entire theater to hear, “Luc Besson, You ROCK!” And to leave little doubt that "From Paris With Love" was a message film, as the credits rolled, the first music selection to play was, “Are You With Me?” by Vaux.

        I'd like to respond to that question. Liberté, égalité, fratenité. Je suis avec vous. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Hollywood, STFU Rating: 0 Hammer and Sickles
1 deserved Star of Freedom