The great crime novelist Donald E. Westlake was so prolific that he required several pen names to attach to books that covered all the writing styles at his command. Much loved by many was Richard Stark, Westlake's moniker for the author who wrote about a deliciously enigmatic professional thief named Parker. Parker has shown up in several movie adaptations, but Parker is the first to identify him with that name. Even though hulking bulldog Jason Statham plays him with the brute force and inelegant craft that has made the actor such a predictable action hero, Parker neatly captures the essence of the man that Westlake/Stark painted on the page. Parker is ostensibly based on the Parker novel Flashfire, though its plot is essentially the same kind of revenge tale all the other Parker character movies have been.