DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

PARANOIA (director: Robert Luketic; screenwriters: novel by Joseph Finder/Jason Hall/Barry Levy; cinematographer: David Tattersall; editor: Tracy Adams/Dany Cooper; music: Junkie XL; cast: Liam Hemsworth (Adam Cassidy), Amber Heard (Emma Jennings), Harrison Ford (Jock Goddard), Gary Oldham (Nicholas Wyatt), Lucas Till (Kevin), Brendan Dooling (Dylan Goddard), Richard Dreyfuss (Frank Cassidy), Embeth Davidtz (Dr. Judith Bolton), Julian McMahon (Miles Meechum, the assassin), Will Peltz (Morgan), Angela Sarafyan (Allison), Kevin Kilner (Tom Lungren), Howie Brown (FBI agent); Runtime: 106; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Scott Lambert/William D. Johnson/deepak Nayar/Alexandra Milchan; Demerest Films/Relativity Media; 2013-USA-France)

"A heavy-slog industrial espionage thriller indifferently directed."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A heavy-slog industrial espionage thriller indifferently directed by Robert Luketic ("Legally Blonde"/"Careless Love"). It's based on former CIA agent Joseph Finder's 2004 novel. The writers Jason Hall and Barry Levy never get the film about paranoia paranoid enough, and instead fill it with inert action film chase scenes and of senior citizen corporate villains carrying out their nefarious plans to knife rivals in the back in their glassy structured Manhattan skyscraper corporate headquarters.

Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman play tech-firm rivals out to destroy each other. Liam Hemsworth (“The Hunger Games”) plays the ambitious whiz-kid programmer from Brooklyn. His elderly retired security guard father, played by Richard Dreyfuss, has unpaid medical bills for his incurable emphysema that his son is determined to pay off when his insurance is cut.

When the ambitious 26-year-old Liam, still at the same cubicle where he started 6 years ago, gets
a chance to make a smartphone techie product proposal for the company’s ruthless CEO, Oldham, his pitch fails and when he mouths off to the boss he and his team of nerds (Lucas Till & Angela Sarafyan) are canned. The team go clubbing and charge things to their former firm on their still valid expense credit cards. This stunt convinces Oldham that Liam is someone he can entrust to be his corporate spy inside his rival's giant Eikon corporation, after he bribes him. When Liam accepts and agrees to sell his soul, Oldham's corporate fixer (Embeth Davidtz) gives him the resources to get hired by the rival tech-firm. The rival firm is run by Oldham's former mentor, a bald and harsh sounding Harrison Ford. At Eikon, Liam is teamed with the beauty and Ivy League marketing whiz, Amber Heard. After a successful climb up the company ladder, Liam begins a deeper romance with the competitive Amber, who is trying to impress her esteemed family she can make it to the top in the corporate world of men.

Liam, when shown by an FBI agent a few dead body photos of some recent Oldham corporate spies, suddenly realizes he's in grave danger. Too bad the rom-com filmmaker has no idea how to create tension. Also, it's too bad that the young leads despite being so good looking have no acting DNA to get them by all the dull moments of this meaningless film. Though, it might work if viewed on late-night cable, as a way to get over your insomnia without the possible after effects of taking sleeping pills.

REVIEWED ON 2/25/2017       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED   DENNIS SCHWARTZ

 

dennisschwartzreviews.com