Parker 2: Why Jason Statham’s Sequel Wasn’t Made
Parker 2 never happened due to the success of the first film, as well as Jason Statham’s career trajectory. Parker was released in 2013 and was based on Donald E. Westlake’s 2000 novel Flashfire, the 19th instalment of his book series, so there’s plenty of material to adapt for a sequel. Despite its franchise potential, Parker 2 was never approved by executives, even at a time when a sequel could thrive on a popular streaming service.Parker, directed by Taylor Hackford (Ray) and written by John J. McLaughlin (Black Swan), stays true to crime thriller tropes. Jason Statham plays the title character, a professional thief who follows a strict code of honour in order to keep his life as orderly as possible. Parker is left for dead by his accomplices after a botched heist, and then seeks vengeance after being rescued. Parker co-stars Jennifer Lopez as Leslie Cienfuegos Rodgers and Michael Chiklis as the main villain, Melander, and is set primarily in Palm Beach, Florida.Parker 2 was never made due to the perceived mediocrity of the first film. According to the overall reviews, critics were unimpressed with the plot and criticised Statham’s character for lacking character depth. Parker hits all of the expected story beats of a heist thriller, but he doesn’t provide much background information for the central antihero. To be fair, the filmmakers may have assumed that a sequel would allow them to fully flesh out Statham’s character arc, but a poor box office return and mixed reviews suggested that a sequel would be a bad investment.Unlike many B-level action films, Parker failed to connect with audiences, despite a promising subplot involving Lopez’s down-and-out real estate agent. Furthermore, given Statham’s already extensive career reached new heights in the years following Parker’s release, particularly as a staple in the Fast and Furious franchise, it stands to reason that he would not return for Parker 2 even if given the opportunity.Parker has a lot to offer in terms of streaming entertainment. The first half follows the narrative structure of a typical revenge film, with Statham playing both a priest and a Texas cowboy. Parker, on the other hand, abruptly incorporates Leslie midway through and never fully explores a romance between her and Statham’s character.Instead, Lopez is used for comedic relief and to highlight Parker’s moral code, as he is still technically in a relationship with Claire, played by Emma Booth. Lopez’s performance is arguably the main selling point, but her lack of screen time results in a disappointing climax. Parker is a good piece of popcorn entertainment, but the story is predictable and safe. There is conflict resolution but no big payoff, and there is no overt hint of a sequel.Parker has been a huge hit on Netflix because it ticks all the right boxes for curious streamers. There’s an A-list draw with Statham, an actor best known for his work in action films, and whose name alone tells viewers what to expect. Of course, Lopez and Chiklis are also major draws, and their performances are above-average enough to keep Netflix subscribers interested even if the plot is predictable.arker also has some gory moments, which undoubtedly add to the WTF factor, resulting in free word-of-mouth marketing. Parker’s formulaic design and streaming success in the Streaming Era implies that a sequel could potentially be a Netflix Original, assuming Statham wants to reprise his role. Back in 2013, however, Parker 2 did not appear to be a film that would entice people to leave their homes and go to the movies. Since then, the film industry has changed dramatically.