James Reese (played by Jonathan Rhys-Myers) is assistant to the American Ambassador in Paris – he’s an ambitious, disciplined and efficient public servant but he’s also an aspiring undercover agent and he is kept at arms length by the secret service to do odd jobs when a fully fledged agent is not available. One day he is sent to meet his “partner” at the airport who is having difficulty getting his luggage through French customs. He finds he has been assigned to partner with special agent Charles Wax (by John Travolta) on his mission in Paris. Wax brings mayhem to James’ otherwise steady and relatively conservative life – and his relationship with his girlfriend Caroline (by Kasia Smutniak). Wax is a larger than life, impulsive character who seems to bumble about but survive on the adrenalin of violence and action. He explains that he is in Paris to foil a high-level drug syndicate and the two begin to pursue their targets. As the body count begins to mount, Reese realises this may not be what it first appears … and Wax isn’t either.
If you enjoy high-octane action, mindless violence and macho fight scenes – this movie is for you. The story itself is fine. The two characters work well together, Travolta is cheeky, unbelievable and just great as Charles Wax – it is a nice departure from his usual more straightforward roles. Jonathan Rhys-Myers plays the more conservative and less experienced Reese well too – they just balance eath other nicely. Their performances are both good – most of the other characters in the movie are peripheral, with the exception of course of Caroline – Kasia Smutniak portrays her very well and she features strongly throughout the move – she is more than just James’ love interest. The car chases, fight scenes and gun battles are not really my thing, but the story is fine. It’s quite a good movie really.
Directed by Pierre Morel