I had heard nothing but shit about this movie for a decade now. I thought it was gonna suck as soon as I heard the film's title, a shameless ripoff of the classic Bond film. Even after I put it on, I thought "This is gonna be a straight-up ripoff of Training Day." But as it went along, I found myself getting into the story and enjoying the movie. From Paris with Love isn't gonna be remembered as an action classic, but it's just insane enough to work. John Travolta gives it his all in a memorable and hammy performance, and the espionage thrills aren't too convoluted to enjoy.
James Reese (Meyers) is a low-level ambassador's assistant who is recruited by a shadowy government agent to work with dedicated, unorthodox, and possibly psychotic American super agent Charlie Wax (Travolta). Reese has no idea why, and spends the first half of the movie dodging gunfire as Wax takes him on a tour of Paris's most violent, drug-ridden, gangster-filled hideaways. At first, you think Wax is clearly a corrupt agent on the take or working with terrorists. But the film's big secret is that he's not. Wax is really a good agent who finds out Reese's girlfriend is a terrorist, and together, they have to stop her from blowing up a delegation. The action scenes are nuts, and the story is surprisingly not predictable. You get sucked into it because of the great characters.
I was convinced I was going to have nothing but contempt for From Paris with Love. But it ended up being a fun watch that puts a lot of other espionage thrillers to shame. It keeps things simple and delivers on the promise of a crazed Travolta blowing shit up. I'm still on Team Travolta, even after Gotti derailed him even further into straight-to-DVD oblivion. If he commits to another performance like this, his career will find new life. I guarantee it.