Director Pierre Morel came to my attention a few years back with a movie called District B-13. It is a wild, over the top action movie that was the first to make extensive use of parkour, or free running. It is a a style of moving through and around objects in the most efficient manner possible. It is fascinating to watch and helped make this movie a must see. The style was also used during the opening chase sequence in Casino Royale. With this success Morel would then make Taken, delivering us Liam Neeson as a legitimate tough guy. The movie was a surprise hit in the US well after having already made its way through European cinemas. Now we have his latest feature, which seems to blend elements of both of those prior films into one wild action film.
I feel compelled to say that I do not like the title of the film. From Paris with Love? Really? Sure, the film has a little bit of love and it is set in Paris, but really? Aside from being a take on the classic James Bond film From Russia with Love, I feel they could have come up with a better title. I guess it is a minor nitpick when it comes right down to it; the movie is not the title despite being the first interaction any of us have with it.
As From Paris with Love opens we meet James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), a highly organized and intelligent aide to the US Ambassador to France. We also learn that he is also with the CIA and is often called upon to do such tasks as switch license plates on cars being used for an operation and plant the occasional bug. At the end of the day, Reece goes home to a nice apartment that he shares with his girlfriend, Caroline (Kasia Smutniak). In between he has dreams of becoming special ops certified.
His dream takes a step towards becoming a reality when he is called upon to partner with and essentially drive around top CIA agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta) who is in town to stop some bad guys operating in the area.