A forgotten Jason Statham movie is dominating on Netflix today.
Last week saw a range of new films added to the streamer’s library to kick off March in style, and among them was 2013’s Parker, a noirish action thriller with the Crank star in the lead alongside Jennifer Lopez. Though it hasn’t gone down as one of the British actor’s best efforts, Netflix users are certainly loving it and it’s currently the seventh most-watched movie on the platform in the US.
Parker stars Statham as the eponymous professional thief with a strict moral code who never steals from the poor or the needy. However, he’ll get a taste for revenge when a job with a new crew goes wrong and he’s betrayed and left for dead. Surviving and teaming up with Lopez’s real estate agent, Parker plots to get his own back on his treacherous crew by stealing what they originally intended to take at a jewelry heist. Nick Nolte, Michael Chiklis and Bobby Cannavale also feature.
The movie is based on a long-running book series from author Daniel Westlake, published under his pseudonym Richard Stark. Specifically, it’s an adaptation of the 19th novel, Flashfire. Westlake’s works had been brought to the screen twice before, in 1967’s Point Blank and 1999’s Payback, but the writer refused to allow Parker’s name to be used for those two films unless the producers agreed to adapt all 28 of his books. As Westlake died in 2008, this wasn’t an issue for this particular production.
Parker has been criticized for playing fast and loose with its source material, which has led it to be labelled as “thoroughly generic” by Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus, with it standing at a stingy 40% on the site. As its popularity on Netflix right now makes clear, though, sometimes folks are perfectly happy just watching Jason Statham shoot and steal stuff for a couple of hours.