This is one of those classic ‘wait a minute’ movies. It’s enjoyable if not thought- provoking, amusing if not funny, action-packed if not logical. Then the credits roll, and you sit in your car in the parking lot of the theater and say to yourself, “Wait a minute. That was a complete waste of 95 minutes of my life. I don’t want to be too critical of John Travolta; the guy has been through a tragedy, but clearly he needed some beach house money.”
James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is personal assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to France. He spends his days planning the Ambassador’s schedule, playing him in chess and taking secret phone calls from an anonymous voice instructing him to perform various tests before he can earn a place on a Special Forces team. After numerous successful mini-missions, Reece gets a real job: to pick up his new partner, Charlie Wax (John Travolta), and complete ‘the assignment.’ What the actual assignment is, is a little fuzzy but make no mistake, it involves killing tons of people, several car chases and lots of explosions.
It’s amazing to me they managed to fill 90 minutes with this story, as it is mostly Travolta shooting people. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who most of us know from the Woody Allen film Match Point or the Showtime hit The Tudors, is fine as the straight man to Travolta’s loose cannon, although he inexplicably sports this ‘80s porn star mustache that makes him look ridiculous. If you have teenage sons, you know where to send them this weekend.