Most reviews of Paranoia are negative and they’re right, although lurking somewhere in this muddled screenplay is the makings of a much better movie. The script doesn’t hold water and there’s a major problem with the lead actor.
Liam Hemsworth plays an up and coming tech wizard hired by a nasty CEO (Gary Oldman) to infiltrate a rival cell phone company run by the much nicer (at least at first) CEO (Harrison Ford). Oldman wants Hemsworth to steal a copy of Ford’s new, technologically advanced cell phone and then get paid obscene amounts of money.
But Hemsworth doesn’t have the acting chops to carry the picture. His character seems like a nice young fellow, maybe too greedy, but pleasant. However, you get the impression he was hired more for his impressive physical appearance since he wanders around stripped to the waist a surprising amount of the time he’s on screen. The best acting comes from supporting cast members like Oldman and Ford.
It turns out just about everybody is nasty, but Hemsworth manages to turn the action to his advantage. The problem is believability. Plots twists and turns just don’t come across like anything approaching reality; everything from how amazingly easy it is for Hemsworth to be hired by Ford’s company to the happy Hollywood ending with love interest (Amber Heard).
What’s good are the insights into cell phone technology and how that technology contributes to the increasing lack of privacy in modern life. Now that’s something we can all be paranoid about.
Rating: two deer out of five
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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.