Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde) directs the latest entry in the corporate espionage genre. Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth) is an entry-level tech-guy working for Wyatt Corporation. After his latest pitch “fails” to impress the boss, Nicholas Wyatt (Gary Oldman), Adam and his friends are fired from the tech giant. In a moment of impulse the main character decides to go clubbing that night on the account of the corporate credit card (which conveniently hasn’t been deactivated).
There he meets Emma Jennings (Amber Heard) and they proceed to have what she teases was a one-sided, pleasurable night. That same morning Adam is ushered to Wyatt’s presence. Wyatt and his henchmen threaten to have him charged with credit card fraud if he doesn’t infiltrate and spy on his arch rival, Jock Goddard (Harrison Ford). If he commits the federal felony he will be paid handsomely. Adam consents.
With a few nice suits and accessories, Adam is “transformed” into a corporate executive looking guy. Then for whatever reason he is hired as an executive at Goddard. In a matter of days he goes from being an entry-level technician to an executive. Adam finds himself a pawn in Wyatt’s plot to outmaneuver his old partner.
Paranoia is Luketic’s attempt of a Wall Street type of movie. Unfortunately for him, and for me, he ultimately fails to achieve that. The film is a subpar entry to the genre. The plot is predictable and linear. The acting is no better than average. Someone must have thought that the addition of young, good-looking actors and veteran stars (Oldman and Ford) equate a great movie. Whoever that person was is terribly wrong.
A movie can only be as great as the script. And frankly this script leaves much to be wanted. I found myself often exclaiming that a scene was completely ridiculous. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) is the type of movie Paranoia aspires to become. Wall Street is far greater than Paranoia. For a movie that is all about corporate greed and espionage is isn’t very smart. The ending is hackneyed and unrealistic.
Sometimes movie critics are off on their assessment of a movie. I should have listened to them on this one. Paranoia currently holds a 2% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 48 reviews. The consensus states: “Clichéd and unoriginal, Paranoia is a middling techno-thriller with indifferent performances and a shortage of thrills.” They certainly hit the mark.
I do not recommend you watch this movie in theaters. I say you maybe rent the film in three months only if you are super bored and only if Redbox has offered you a free movie rental that night. Otherwise, trust me you shouldn’t waste your money. There are so many great films in theaters. Most notably: Fruitvale Station and Blue Jasmine. Heck I’d even re-watch The Wolverine.
Tomorrow I will be watching and reviewing Lee Daniels’ The Butler. I’m hoping I’m not once again disappointed.
Running Time: 106 mins.
My Grade: C-
WARNING: If you don’t like being spoiled of the entire plot of a movie, don’t watch this trailer.
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate