Liam Hemsworth attempts to make a name for himself in Robert Luketic‘s procedural thriller Paranoia, also starring a bored Gary Oldman and a confused Harrison Ford. Paranoia is far from this summer’s worst film, but it’s also not a very good one. Paranoia is something that belongs on late night television and not on the big screen, because of its lacking story, characters, direction and everything else that normally matters when making a multimillion dollar motion picture.
Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth) is sick of being at the bottom of the pile. He successfully graduated college and played by the rules for most of his life, yet all he has to show for it is a stack of medical bills because of his ill father and that constant feeling of being hungry for something better. He’s a bright and motivated individual, but he lets his passion and fairness get in the way of his need to make it in this tough and cruel world.
That all changes when his employer (played by Gary Oldman) hires him to become a spy for the competitor (played by Harrison Ford). Adam is forced to steal secrets from the competitor in exchange for a fat stack of cash and an upgraded life style that turns him into a wealthy young man with everything in the palm of his hands. But stealing has a price and Adam soon finds out that no one can be trusted in this deadly game of cat and mouse.
Paranoia is the latest time-waster from director Robert Luketic. Luketic hasn’t been known for making groundbreaking pieces of art, but he does occasionally turn out something of decent quality. Paranoia isn’t one of those turn outs, because while the film is a decent thriller it mostly borderlines being completely forgettable before the ending credits even roll.
There’s just nothing new on display. Everything about Paranoia has a been-there-done-that vibe to it and the film never manages to shake off that feeling. Star Liam Hemsworth is far from a glowing piece of charisma, while Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford are clearly competing to see who can stay awake the longest.
There’s no challenging material for any of the actors to really sink their teeth into, which leaves us with a flat procedural thriller that simply follows the beats and hopes that you haven’t fell asleep before they reveal something “big” or “shocking”.
Seriously, the film centers on a rivaling cell phone companies and at one point the big reveal happens to be a phone that can bend in half and store your credit cards. Now, in the hands of any other director this might be seen as innovative or at the very least cool, but Luketic makes it absolutely boring and dull.
Paranoia doesn’t deserve its title, because the film never provokes that feeling. It’s really just a very safe way to kill two hours. There’s nothing appalling about the film as a whole, but there’s also very little that’s of any interest. Luketic’s direction is sound, while the performances barely register.
There’s really not one thing that makes Paranoia a bad film, but instead a compilation of disappointing moments that lead to nothing. It’s just a pointless exercise that is better off skipped or rented at a far later date. Robert Luketic has crafted something that moves and almost looks like a good film, but the film loses all purpose once the camera reveals the characters, which are comatose actors blinking and breathing, but not doing much of anything else.
Paranoia is just another film that you won’t bother watching in a few months when you see it on the front page of your Netflix account. And that’s fine, because director Robert Luketic does nothing to differentiate his film from a dozen other legal thrillers that stuff up late night cable. The only real difference here is that his film secured a slightly larger budget, which means known actors doing absolutely nothing with their talent.
Paranoia – 6/10