Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford
Genre: Thriller/ Drama
Adam Cassidy (Hemsworth) is an entry level employee at a tech firm run by Nicolas Wyatt (Oldman), one of the world’s two leading Tech innovators and billionaires. Adam is then bribed by Wyatt into working in the world of tech espionage, by getting a job at the firm of his old mentor and fierce rival; Jock Goddard (Ford) and gaining his trust to then reveal all of Goddard’s company’s secrets to Wyatt. As Adam gets deeper involved in the bitter rivalry of these two tech giants, it becomes an apparent life-and-death situation that will bore the hell out of anyone watching.
So yet again we have the young star of a huge franchise trying to be the leading man. Well, though he is thankfully no Taylor Lautner (Abduction, anyone?), Thor’s younger brother may have the torso and the pouting down to perfection, but he cannot save Paranoia from being a total car crash of a film. After performing miserably at the US box office it got a straight to DVD release here in Blighty and after watching this tripe it is obvious why. Director Robert Luketic obviously thinks he is making some kind of slick techno thriller with a social commentary on the modern day world of cyber espionage and how we are all being watched etc. hence the title. However Paranoia is an extremely boring ‘thriller’ that contains an extremely clichéd script from start to finish and certainly never grips or engages, and is not even entertaining.
Having a mid range budget also poses a problem for Paranoia in that its ‘set pieces’ are Liam Hemsworth walking around looking nervous (and often topless). This may work if we had good characters but the script and characters are so outrageously clichéd that it is almost funny, painstakingly predictable and certainly never tense. Like so many films of this nature, it is convenient for the protagonist to have a best friend (Lucas Till) who is blindly loyal to him and an absolute genius in everything relevant to the plot that our protagonist cannot do on his own. This is a plot device Jason Dean Hall and Barry L. Levy’s script unashamedly embraces.
What is more shameful about Paranoia is the huge list of big names that appear in this rubbish, seemingly happy to take the money that they really do not need. I know Gary Oldman was born in East London, but here he exaggerates the ‘Landan’ accent beyond belief and overacts in every scene he is in, quite frankly embarrassing himself. Meanwhile Harrison ford is the complete opposite (but embarrassing himself just as much): looking bored and mumbling his way through scenes. The likes of Amber Heard, Julian McMahon, Josh Holloway and Richard Dreyfuss should also know better. It is certainly hard to believe that Paranoia is actually a novel, I have never heard of it, but surely it cannot be as horrifically bad as the film?!?
Painfully clichéd and excruciatingly boring, Paranoia is an embarrassing example of how not to make a film and how famous names are just happy to take money. At least things cannot get any worse for the youngest Hemsworth’s attempts to be a leading man.