Starring: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Liam Hemsworth Directed by: Robert Luketic Running time: 106 minutes
Why in the world two great veteran actors like Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford would ever consent to participate in a (possible) career destroying project like Paranoia, I will never understand. Did they even read the script? Either possibility is as frightening as the other.
Paranoia has been described by the IMDB summary as a "high stakes thriller"
when in reality neither element seems present (not the "high stakes" nor the "thrills"). Paranoia is pretentious as social commentary and snore-inducing as a Hitchcockian "thriller."
The lack of a coherent style is muddled with the film's slow motion shots and overbearing music; life situations are the extent of all the characters' depths; and the finale is so infuriating you might just want to spit on the writer for insulting your intelligence.
I think you know where I stand on Paranoia but despite the waste of time I must ply my trade.
So here it goes. Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth) and friends are young and ambitious entrepreneurs who pitch their new software innovation to one of the two largest cellphone companies in the world, Wyatt Enterprises.
When the group's (horrid) idea is turned down, they are laid off by the company's owner, Nicholas Wyatt (Gary Oldman).
Adam, however, still having the company credit card, responds by taking his pals for a night on the town. The next morning, he awakens in the luxurious house of Emma Jennings, a mysterious and fine looking woman.
His phone has been bombarded with texts from the big wigs at Wyatt who are infuriated with last night's $16,000 bill.
He is given two choices: go to jail for credit card fraud or infiltrate and spy on Wyatt's greatest competition, Eikon, whose CEO is Jock Goddard
(Harrison Ford) - Nicholas' previous friend and business partner (their company split because of egos and disagreements).
The latter is chosen and Adam Cassidy, once in the middle class is now given treatment of the high life; he's decked out in fancy suits, luxury cars and an overall appearance of wealth. He is ready to infiltrate Eikon, get noticed by the company's owner and eventually inform Wyatt enterprises of their competitor's next product.
Oh, and do you remember that girl Adam slept with, Emma Jennings? Turns out she is a marketing executive for Eikon.
Coincidence? I think not. Tense situations that threaten to blow his cover are supposed to raise the stress level in the viewer, but we have such a low level of empathy for the protagonist because we hardly even know Adam. His character is one-dimensional to the point of tedium.
How many times is the film going to try and raise the stakes by involving Adam's sickly father who needs expensive treatment? The supporting characters do not fare much better. The two tech moguls are evil because they're rich and greedy, and Emma is just trying to impress her wealthy family. Situational issues do not provide enough of a profound psychological profile to make the characters real, interesting, or relatable.
Dull and flat characters are enough to sentence this to the "Razzies" but add Luketic's non-existent direction and you've got a worst of the decade contender.
Every shot has a visual blandness that seems unfitting and amateur. Even distant setting establishing shots are out of focus.
To say the film looks like a TV show would be an insult to television's improving
programming. Surely the writer who said this film was a "high stakes thriller" has stipulated meanings to the words in his hyperbolic phrase.
Please, allow me to translate what he really meant to say without any exaggerations.
Paranoia is a dull and uninspired work that is among the worst films of the year.
There. Much clearer!
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