When you want to add some serious weight to your film you cast Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman, then throw in Richard Dreyfuss for good measure. However, is that enough to make it a good movie?
Paranoia tells the story of Adam (Liam Hemsworth), a young tech guy who, with his friends, works for the intimidating Nicolas Wyatt (Oldman). After giving a failed presentation Adam and his friends are fired. Angry, they take their company credit card and go out to an expensive club to party. That night Adam hooks up with a very attractive woman, Emma (Amber Heard). Add to this, Adam has an ailing father at home (Dreyfuss) whose insurance has somehow run out.
Long story short, Wyatt gives Adam a choice: do a little corporate espionage or go to jail. It really isn’t much of a choice at all as Adam goes to work for Jock Goddard (Ford). Wyatt wants Adam to steal Goddard’s technology. It turns out that Emma also works for Goddard and Adam and Emma’s one night stand turns into a relationship.
As the story goes on Adam gets in way over his head and before he knows it his father and friends lives are being threatened and he is forced to take this corporate espionage further than he wants to. It ends with a not so surprising twist and everything is wrapped up pretty conveniently.
The biggest problem with Paranoia is that while it’s supposed to be techno thriller, it’s lacking in thrills. It’s actually quite boring. I never found myself caring about any of the characters. I didn’t care if Adam succeeded or failed, I didn’t care if he got the girl, and I didn’t care if either Wyatt or Goddard got away with whatever stupid petty games they were playing with each other.
But the producers of the film did get one thing right. Bringing Ford and Oldman into the mix did elevate the film. It elevated it from being a dreadfully boring to just being a bad movie. Don’t get me wrong, they both give fantastic performances, considering what little they are given to work with, but it’s not enough to make it a good film.
Another problem with the film is that Hemsworth isn’t quite leading man material yet. I think he’ll get there. He definitely has that something that people like to see in their leading men, but he’s just not yet there. Give him a few years and a few more films under his belt, and he’ll become the leading man that people want to see and the leading man that might have helped make this a better film.
All in all, it’s just not that exciting of a story. Two cell phone companies bickering over the latest tech? I don’t know, I just couldn’t get excited about it. I’m sure there are some people out there who might find this to be an exciting thriller, I’m just not one of them.
The film is presented in 2.40:1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The film looks and sounds fine. It’s a very finely produced film, but that doesn’t help make the content more interesting.
You get a DVD and digital copy of the film as well as Deleted Scenes (5 min.), three featurettes – Privacy Is Dead (6 min.), The Paranoia Begins (6 min.), The Players (5 min.) – and the theatrical trailer.
With Ford and Oldman in the cast I was hoping for a lot more than Paranoia had to deliver. It’s a very competently made film to be sure, it’s just not a very exciting subject matter.
20th Century Fox presents Paranoia. Written by: Barry Levy and Jason Dean Hall. Directed by: Robert Luketic. Starring: Liam Helmsworth, Amber Heard, Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman and Richard Dreyfuss. Running time: 106 minutes. Rating: PG-13. Released: November 19, 2013.
Tags: gary oldman, Harrison Ford, Liam Hemsworth