Paranoia

This film didn’t do so well in the theaters, with some of the talent involved I was surprised by that but after seeing the movie, I understand…

It’s not an original concept by any means, but the story is still entertaining overall conceptually. It’s just that it’s pretty predictable and doesn’t offer any real twists that you wouldn’t see coming. So I would stay that the story is competent, but that’s not really much of a compliment I guess. I think people are hoping to be surprised by something during the course of watching a film, unfortunately Paranoia just doesn’t offer that.

Here’s the set up: set in NYC (but shot largely in Philly), the story centers around Adam Cassidy (played by Liam Hemsworth), a hotshot software up-and-comer trying to make his way up the fast track ladder working in the tech world. He ends up getting his wish but in a way he didn’t quite expect. He has to take care of his father, his father’s medical expenses since they don’t have insurance and his own livelihood too. He ends up in the middle of a power struggle between two corrupt tech titans  using him as a pawn of industrial espionage battling for the marketshare of the phone tech industry.

There’s a number of problems with Paranoia. For one, there seems to be a lot of reasons for getting Hemsworth shirtless at different points in the film which adds an air of superficial story writing along with the lame sex scene between Hemsworth and Amber Heard. Another issue is that there are very few likable characters in this movie. Most of them just seem to be assholes with the exception of Richard Dreyfuss who plays Hemsworth’s father. The directing and editing aren’t great either. The film is supposed to be a thriller but trendy editing tricks and fancy motion graphics don’t make up for shitty acting and writing which has a big impact on the thriller aspect. Speaking of shitty acting…

Unfortunately most of the weight is placed on Hemsworth in terms of carrying the film but he’s just not very good in this. His performance is one-note for the most part without much range of emotion. To put it frankly, he’s boring to watch. Luckily Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford and Richard Dreyfuss make the film watchable but just barely…

Heard isn’t anything special to watch either. She has about the same amount of range as Hemsworth which just doesn’t cut it as far as turning in a compelling performance that lights up the screen. Neither of them heighten the tension with their deliveries, they just kind of say the words and go through the motions of what the script tells them to do.

I have friends in this film and wish I could recommend it (I’m also a huge fan of Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford) but Paranoia just isn’t one to go out of your way to watch.

reviewed by Sean McKnight