Was ANYONE Paranoid in "Paranoia"?

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“Paranoia” sucks. It doesn’t suck so good like “Last Action Hero” or other cult classic flops. It’s just a bad movie. Gary Oldman’s character Nicholas Wyatt quotes Picasso in the film and says “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” This movie went for the copy machine but got held up in the break room before it could use it. 

We’ve seen “Paranoia” before. Films like “Lucky Number Slevin”, “Paycheck”, or “Enemy of the State” have done it in some way, and done it way better. Two towering giants go head to head with a protagonist in between. Liam Hemsworth is Adam Cassidy, an ambitious twenty seven year old computer geek (?) with dreams of making the next successful tech device. He lives with his ailing father, Frank (a very old Richard Dreyfuss), and wants desperately to move up the ranks to give them both a good life.

Adam and his friends, who are actually ten times smarter than him, are given the opportunity to pitch an innovative idea to their employer Nicholas Wyatt. As the pitch goes soft, Adam mouths off to Wyatt resulting in the group not only failing the pitch but getting fired as well. Instead of Adam going to look for a modeling job, he decides to use the company’s (that he was just fired from) credit card to live it up for one night.  Unfortunately, this stupid move gives Wyatt the dirt he needs to threaten Adam with working for him or going to jail. 

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 This movie isn’t worth me summarizing the rest of it in detail because you’ve seen it before...and the geniuses in marketing revealed the big reveal in the trailer (so no spoiler alerts)! Adam is played like a fiddle as Wyatt uses him to work for the competition, Jock Goddard (Harrison Ford), but the competition already knows Adam is a spy. Amber Heard plays Emma Jennings, Adam’s love interest, and serves absolutely no purpose except for being the love interest in this film...if you can call it love. Adam eventually outsmarts both of the titans by his own brain power. No, I’m sorry...I told you he had friends that were ten times smarter than him. Remember the ones that he got fired and left behind to work for Wyatt in the beginning? The team combines their powers and outsmart the titans. 

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Most screenplays get vetted multiple times before becoming a final draft, a shooting script, and what you see on the big screen. This film must not have received that treatment. Just because you have acting legends (Ford, Oldman, Dreyfuss) and hot young talent (Heard, Hemsworth) doesn’t mean that you can cover up a horrible script. If you’re title is “Paranoia”, someone should be paranoid within the film. Better luck next time. 

Rating: F

 

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Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.