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The Warsaw Voice » World of Movies » September 30, 2013
Film review
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Paranoia
September 30, 2013   
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On internet forums frequented by film buffs, Paranoia is commonly described as the “worst film of the year.” Two weeks after opening, the movie managed $7 million at the box office, though it cost $35 million to make. Even the presence of crowd-pleasers Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman is not enough to win audiences over. Once you see Paranoia, the bad press it has received appears justified.

The movie is directed by 40-year-old Australian Robert Luketic, best known for rather silly comedies such as Legally Blonde (2001) and The Ugly Truth (2009) and the moronic Killers (2010). However, in 2008 Luketic also made 21, a decent thriller about college students using science to cheat in casinos. That may have suggested that Luketic could successfully direct an action film about a young corporate wannabe who ends up being dragged into the world of business espionage. Unfortunately, neither the script nor anything else in the movie delivers much to keep the viewer interested. Not even Ford and Oldman—as the heads of two corporations locked in deadly rivalry—are able to save the film. They are given wooden lines, and besides the plot focuses on the character played by Liam Hemsworth (Expendables 2, The Hunger Games). Other than his good looks, suitably highlighted in the movie, the Australian-born actor does not have much to offer.

In Paranoia, Hemsworth is Adam Cassidy, an ambitious Yale graduate fascinated by cell phone technology. He lands a small-time job with a big corporation and realizes promotion just won’t happen. His father Frank (Richard Dreyfuss—Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind) has been a security guard all his life, but his health is deteriorating and some extra cash would be welcome. Nicolas Wyatt (Oldman), the owner of the corporation, fires Adam but then makes him an offer he can’t refuse. The new assignment is to spy on Wyatt’s corporate rival Jock Goddard (Ford, for the first time appearing on-screen with a bald head). When Wyatt was a young man, Goddard taught him the ins and outs of the market and corporate life, but now the only bond left between the two men is that of mutual hatred.

The rest is easy to figure out. The convoluted but predictable plot soon sees Adam fighting for his life. Then there is the obligatory dose of moralizing about values such as friendship, love and family ties, which are contrasted with the soulless rapacity of the corporate sharks. We have seen it all a hundred times before and in better movies.
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