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Paranoia‘s Not Smart Enough August 18, 2013

Posted by Alichat in Movies.
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Paranoia PosterI attended a screening of Paranoia Wednesday night, thanks to some free radio tickets, thinking that I would be treated to a smart, edgy, thriller.  With such a great cast; Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Josh Holloway, Liam Hemsworth, Richard Dreyfuss, Amber Heard, Julian McMahon, how could it not be?  Sadly, it was a disappointment.

Paranoia is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Joseph Finders.  It’s about a young programmer/developer named Adam Cassidy (Hemsworth.) A ‘bridge and tunnel’ kid raised by his working class father, he has high ambitions and a bit of an ego.  Adam works for Nicolas Wyatt (Oldman) at his global tech company, Wyatt Enterprises.  Wyatt is the former protegé of Jock Goddard (Ford,) the founder and head of Eikon Industries.  Goddard and Wyatt are now bitter rivals, each trying to outsmart the other to be the leader in the tech industry.  Adam, after botching a major presentation to Wyatt and getting himself and his team fired, decides to party the night away with his corporate credit card.  One last hurrah.  Of course he’s caught, and in lieu of jail time, he agrees to participate in a little corporate espionage for Wyatt.

And so begins the cat and mouse game.  Problem is, a cat and mouse game should be intelligent, and edge of your seat entertaining.  Many times, I found the story slow, boring, and not very intelligent.  The set-ups are too simple and clean. The audience is asked to believe that Goddard, this king of innovation, master of his domain, owner of a corporate office with tighter security than the Pentagon, will just accept Adam into his world, no questions asked. Nevermind that we really never see Adam actually do any programming or product development.  According to Wyatt’s team, all it takes is expensive clothing, a nice car, and fabulous apartment.  Soon, the FBI is sniffing around, Adam realizes he’s in over his head, and failure will cost him his life and the lives of those he loves.  Of course it will.  But how to fix the situation? Apparently, it’s quite easy.  Meaning….the ending was lazy.

I wanted to like this movie, especially with Ford and Oldman chewing through their scenes.  They were really the best part of the film.  But the story wasn’t very compelling, and lacked wit and originality.   If you’re still interested in seeing it, rent it.

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