From Paris with Love follows Luc Besson’s trademark formula – A-list American star in a B-grade French actioner, directed by one of the filmmaker’s protégés. Like Taken, Besson’s latest producing venture is helmed by Pierre Morel, who here can do little to energize what amounts to an incoherent muddle of cursing, gunplay and mismatched-buddy banter devoid of a lucid tethering narrative. A miscast Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays an American diplomat in Paris who wants to be a spy, a wish granted when he’s paired with John Travolta’s bald, foul-mouthed American badass on a barely defined mission involving drug dealers and terrorists. Myers’ smarty pants I’ve-never-held-a-gun-before routine doesn’t jibe with his air of self-possession and sexy model fiancé, just as Travolta’s barrage of four-letter words and handiness with a firearm is at odds with his pudgy frame and jokey demeanor. From Paris with Love is all pretense, lacking any compelling style, attitude or storytelling. Dull and forgettable, the film is incapable of offering efficiently gritty exploitation thrills (à la Taken) or outrageously gonzo madness (à la The Transporter series), a situation at least partially due to the fact that Morel is often too busy trying to compensate for Travolta’s limited combat skills and sub-cartoon bluster to actually concoct and stage an inspired set piece.