Stupid fun, "From Paris With Love" doesn't do much for Paris or love, or your brain cells, but it flies like a crazed eagle on uppers and comes from the talented, propulsive schlocketeer Pierre Morel. A former cinematographer who learned to light brutality stylishly under the tutelage of international violence impresario Luc Besson, Morel turns his kinetic eye to a tale (story by Besson, script by Adi Hasak) of a low-level spy and Paris embassy functionary, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. He lives a fine life in Paris with his fiancée (Kasia Smutniak) but longs for more, job-wise.
Bammo! Fortune smiles and he teams up for an anti-terrorist assignment with a visiting American intelligence ace named Charlie Wax, played by John Travolta. Half of Paris, mainly Asians and Arabs, is dead or dying 40 minutes into this 92-minute bleed-for-all, and when he's not executing, Wax is dallying with one of the locals or snorting cocaine atop the Eiffel Tower.
The Irish-born Rhys Meyers, cast wondrously against type, plays a guy from the Bronx(!) who seems like such a dissembling bloke in his initial scenes you assume it must be some sort of deception. He spends a good deal of the movie lugging around a vase full of blow (it's crime-scene evidence), and before long "From Paris With Love" threatens to become a story of a miscast actor and his big blue prop.