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Film / Parker

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Parker is a 2013 action flick starring Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez, adapted from Donald Westlake's novel Flashfire.

Parker (Statham) is a professional thief whose code of ethics involves not stealing from the poor or hurting innocent people. After getting stabbed in the back and left for dead by his crew, Parker tracks them down to Palm Beach, Florida in order to get revenge, where he enlists the help of Leslie Rogers (Lopez), a real estate agent who helps him rob his former friends.

Parker provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the novel Flashfire, Leslie is a middle-aged blonde Caucasian, running towards plumpness. In the film, she is a thin, late 30s, Spicy Latina Jennifer Lopez.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Parker. See Lighter and Softer below.
  • Agony of the Feet: When the hitman is attempting to suffocate Parker with the shower curtain, Parker is able to break his grip by stamping his cowboy boot down hard on the hitman's instep.
  • Bad Habits: Parker dresses as a priest for the first heist.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Melander and his crew stage a fake fire at the auction, then turn up dressed as firefighters. This allows them to take control of the situation, exclude everyone else from the scene, and then loot the auction before the real firefighters turn up.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Happens to Melander and Hardwicke.
  • The Can Kicked Him: During the fight with the hitman in the hotel, Parker slams the hitman across the head with the lid from the cistern, causing him to fall and smash his head into the bathtub.
  • The Caper: One in the beginning, second at the end, and a third one to mess with the second.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Parker uses a stool to battle, knock down, pin and interrogate Hardwicke's brother.
    "...And you'll have the posthumous humiliation of having been killed by a chair."
  • Chekhov's Gun: Parker hid two guns inside Melander's hideout. One of them comes in handy when Leslie gets captured and accidentally discovers it under a table after Hardwicke knocks her to the ground. She unloads the entire magazine into Carlson, killing him.
  • Covers Always Lie: Shows Leslie with a gun, implying that she is his partner in crime, even that she and Parker are a couple. In the movie, they're not a couple, though she offers to help him halfway through the movie in exchange for a cut of his score, gets kidnapped by Parker's former crew requiring Parker to rescue her, and holds a gun only once, shooting Carlson.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Parker, to the extent that he breaks into Melander's hideout and hides his own guns in there in case he needs them later.
  • Damsel in Distress: Leslie Rogers seizes the Idiot Ball by going to Melander's hideout and nearly bollixing Parker's revenge plan.
  • Disney Villain Death: The hitman that's kicked off a balcony by Parker. A long shot shows him falling, but another building blocks any shot of him hitting the ground.
  • Ear Ache: Carlson gets his ear shot off when Parker deflects Ross' shotgun in the back of the getaway car.
  • Establishing Character Moment: During the opening heist, Parker deals with a panicking security guard by calmly talking him down.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After struggling financially to pay her bills and helping Parker get revenge on his former partners, Leslie gets a handsome cut from Parker's score. So did the couple that found a wounded Parker on the street, left for dead.
  • Feet-First Introduction: The first shot of Parker is of his feet emerging from his car. The camera slowly moves up his body as he takes a case out of the boot, before finally revealing his face. Done again with Leslie as she's in bed, waking up from her alarm clock.
  • Flat "What": After Leslie finds out that Parker is up to something and offers to help him with his criminal activities:
    Parker: Take off your clothes.
    Leslie: ....What?
  • Footprints of Muck: Leslie notices that her mother's dog is tracking bloody footprints across the kitchen floor. She has to clean them up without the cop she is talking to noticing.
  • Good Samaritan: An elderly couple see Parker lying by the side of the road, stop and take him to the hospital. At the end of the movie Parker gives them a lot of money to reward them for it. Since Parker disappeared right after he arrived in the hospital, the couple came to believe that he was an angel sent by God to test them and now they are rewarded for being Good Samaritans.
  • Honor Among Thieves: Parker believes that you stay loyal to your partners unless they try to screw your over. Melander and his crew break that rule, steal his money and try to kill him so he has no problem killing them and taking their money. On the other hand, Leslie helped him when he was injured and did not betray him so gave her a share of the loot even though he could have kept it all for himself with no consequences.
  • Impaled Palm: During the fight with the hitman in the hotel, Parker blocks an attempt to stab him with his hand. The knife goes all the way through his hand and remains there for the remainder of the fight.
  • Informed Ability: The hitman. He should be the best, but we see him killing only a hapless character and he fails to kill Parker after surprising him from the back. Subverted that he still leaves Parker a badly wounded bleeding mess and the fight could gone in his favour at multiple times.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Parker breaks into Melander's hideout and bends the firing pins on all of the gang's hidden guns he can find. This proves a vital precaution during his final confrontation with the former crew.
  • Left for Dead: Parker is shot by the gang, thrown out of moving car and then shot again (twice) before being kicked into a water-filled ditch and left for dead. He survives and comes back for revenge. Melander is furious when he learns that Hardwicke hadn't bothered to confirm Parker was dead before kicking him into the ditch.
  • Lighter and Softer: Parker was a full-on Villain Protagonist in Westlake's novels. The film tones that down greatly, making him a Gentleman Thief Anti-Hero.
  • Lodged-Blade Recycling: During the final fight, Parker stabs Milander in the neck with the ejected clip from his gun. After Milander is dead, he grabs the clip, loads it into his gun, and uses it to shoot Hardwicke.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Leslie Rodgers, as played by Jennifer Lopez, particularly while in her underwear when Parker orders her to strip so he can check that she's not wired. Nothing happens between them because Parker is loyal to his girlfriend Claire, and immune to her charms.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Parker chokes out a male nurse and steals his uniform (and an ambulance) to escape from the hospital.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Parker refuses to throw in with his partners and pool his share of the loot with them so they can pull a second job. His partners shoot him, take his share of the loot and leave him for dead.
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: Parker gets shot and stabbed to the chest (among other things), but just keeps on going.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The heist crew's backer Danzinger offers Parker back his stolen share of the fair heist, plus ten percent, if he'll leave Melander and the others alone. Parker refuses due to Honor Before Reason anger.
  • Race Lift: In the novel Flashfire, Leslie Rodgers is a blonde Caucasian. In the movie she is a Spicy Latina in one Jennifer Lopez, with Rodgers being her married name from her ex-husband.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Hurley is just an old colleague and one-time contact man in the book, but is Parker's father-in-law in the film.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: It wasn't the most sane of ideas of his former partners to double-cross him.
  • Scar Survey: Claire conducts this on Parker's back during a Shower of Love in a flashback.
  • Self-Surgery: After escaping from the hospital, Parker uses some of the supplies from his stolen ambulance to patch himself up.
  • Shower of Love: Parker and Clair share an intimate moment in the shower during a flashback while Parker is bleeding to death.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Parker only wounds Norte's bodyguard in the film but kills him in the book.
  • Take Off Your Clothes: Parker orders Leslie to strip so he can see she is not wearing a wire.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Arguably Parker; just knocked down an hitman? Forget about him and give him shoulders... Fortunately he is Made of Iron.
  • Trojan Ambulance: Parker steals an ambulance to facilitate his escape from the hospital. He later uses the medical supplies in the ambulance to conduct Self-Surgery.
  • Unorthodox Holstering: When Parker goes back to visit Norte, he tucks his backup gun into his belt in such a fashion as to allow him to fire it backwards without drawing it. After he allows his main gun to be taken off him, he uses the backup piece to shoot Ernesto in the leg before he can be grabbed from behind.