Review – Paranoia

Paranoia Poster
Harrison Ford
, Gary OldmanLiam Hemsworth, and Amber Heard star in this corporate espionage thriller (based on the novel of the same name), along with a supporting cast that includes Lucas TillJosh Holloway, and Richard Dreyfus.

When Adam Cassidy (Hemsworth) fails to impress his boss (Oldman), he not only gets his pitch shot down, but causes his entire team to lose their jobs at one of the top cell phone technology firms in the country.  Feeling a bit of righteous indignation, he contrives a rather pricy night on the town on the company’s dime.  That turns out to be a very bad move as he finds himself being blackmailed into stealing secrets from his former company’s biggest rival (Ford) or face jail time for fraud.

This modern spy tale makes corporate espionage look a lot more cutthroat (literally) and intense than it probably really is.  It also banks on the current trend of people’s concerns of privacy – especially with regards to cell phone surveillance.  While the technology presented is probably a bit more accurate than something like Hackers (one of my favorites that few people have seen), it still has the same feel of playing up what the general public feels is plausible rather than being concerned with what is actually realistic.

Technological accuracies aside, this is a pretty standard corporate themed thriller with a couple minor surprises.  Hemsworth proves that while he may not quite have the scene stealing capabilities of his older brother, he’s certainly capable of holding his own as a leading man.  The real treat though is the back and forth performances given by Oldman and, especially, Ford who gives a surprisingly excellent performance here.  It’s really the chemistry of these two as rival businessmen at each others throats that brings the quality of this movie up a notch.  Otherwise there isn’t much here you haven’t seen before.  Though it may be a bit of a non-event, it is at least not nearly as bad as the trailer suggests.  Going in with such low expectations and finding it a good deal better than I anticipated probably had something to do with my level of enjoyment.

It is worth a rental if you like the cast, but it’s not something I would urge you to see while it’s in theaters.  It’s a pretty cookie cutter story with mostly predictable characters but some good acting and slick dialogue save it from being a disaster.  One more minor annoyance I had, though, was the overabundance of Apple products – especially iphones, except where it was necessary for the plot.  If these are two tech giants specializing in cell phones, wouldn’t they all be using proprietary equipment?  That is all.

Mrs. Hamster Says:

“It’s like a chick flick with business espionage.”

My Rating:  Three out of Five Hats

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Trailer:

Paranoia is behind you, in 2,459 theaters August 16