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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Movie Review - Paranoia

Paranoia (2013)
Starring Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, Amber Heard, Embeth Davidtz, Julian McMahon, Josh Holloway, Richard Dreyfuss, and Harrison Ford
Directed by Robert Luketic
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

Considering the thrashing Paranoia received from the critics (earning an abysmal 5% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes), I was expecting the absolute worst from this financial thriller.  Admittedly, the only reason I watched this flick is because I read the book (link here), but (and I recognize this is faint praise) it really wasn't as bad as I expected.  The problem with Paranoia is that the film puts Liam Hemsworth in the lead role and gives him a love interest in Amber Heard in an attempt to skew to a younger audience, but the film's story is about two large techie corporations headed by bigwigs Nicholas Wyatt and Jock Goddard (played by Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford) who are trying to one up each other -- a storyline that couldn't be further away from appealing to youths.  This juxtaposition places Paranoia in a bit of "no man's land" with a too-confusing plotline for the Twitter-verse, but a too simplistic tale for the older crowd.

The book upon which this film is based was admittedly a light, fun read, but skewing younger may have been the flick's downfall.  The aforementioned Hemsworth and Heard are both lovely to look at and are actually surprisingly confident in their ability to carry the film, but they just don't fit here.  Perhaps I'm remembering incorrectly, but the book seemed to focus on a thirtysomething guy who fits this high-tech, gadget-filled, "smart" environment a little bit better.  I can't help but think that a few more years and wrinkles on Hemsworth's character Adam Cassidy -- an up-and-coming techie who agrees to snoop on Goddard's company after he gets in trouble with his former boss Wyatt -- would've helped the believability factor a bit.

Undoubtedly, there are better films streaming on Netflix at the moment, but Paranoia moves along at a solid clip and if you're in the market for some mindless entertainment this may just fit the bill.

The RyMickey Rating:  C

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