This week at the movies, we’ve got Gallic gunplay (From Paris With Love, starring John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and some sad pen pals (Dear John, starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried). What do the critics have to say?
It’s been a while since a good cop-buddy action flick has hit screens, a situation that critics say From Paris With Love does little to alleviate. Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars as a low-level CIA agent who’s thrilled to be assigned to a career-making case; too bad his new partner (John Travolta) is a trigger-happy wild man. Together, they must thwart a terrorist attack on Paris — one that’s targeting our heroes as well. The pundits say Paris benefits from Travolta’s gleefully over-the-top performance, but overall the film doesn’t quite find a balance between its laughs and thrills. (Check out our Total Recall countdown of Travolta’s best-reviewed movies.)
If you’re in the mood for a tearjerker — or, perhaps a tear-yanker — any movie adapted from a Nicolas Sparks novel will probably do the job (The Notebook and A Walk to Remember are based on his books). But critics say Dear John is overly sappy and melodramatic even by weepie standards. Amanda Seyfried stars as a college student who meets a soldier (played by Channing Tatum) while he’s on temporary leave – over the next few years, their love blooms via snail mail, before tragedy strikes. The pundits say Dear John is schmaltzy, overly manipulative, and generally dull, though the leads are appealing.
Also opening this week in limited release: