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DVD review: Paranoia: A mildly entertaining story of 21st century espionage

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Paranoia is a suspenseful, moderately entertaining endeavor that pushes the boundaries of one man’s moral integrity. It’s a story that will question one’s value of what is truly important in life. It displays how success and the desire of it can tests loyalties, friendships, and even family. The movie is based on the best-selling novel by Joseph Finder. The film stars Liam Hemsworth (Empire State), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises), Amber Heard (The Ward), Richard Dryfuss (Red), and Harrison Ford (Ender’s Game).
Competition fuels/breeds innovation. It’s the driving point of the film. Paranoia is the story of a heated, winner takes all competition between two technological moguls who look to use a young pawn to gain leverage over another. Its a full on display of corporate espionage on the 21st century level. It’s the story of two former business partners who have split and now are seeking to one up the other by any means necessary.
The film is initially very slow moving. It takes nearly 50 minutes before a blip of tension. The story is extremely well laid out however it just moves at a snail’s pace trying to set it all up. It slowly builds anticipation with the story but it loses much of the anticipation for it because of the begrudging method that it uses to set the details of the film. However despite the extremely slow start, it really kicks and the intensity of the tale increases exponentially.
The film is stocked with star power but hardly utilizes it. While young Liam Hemsworth is the focus of the film and does an admirable job, it’s the two wily old veterans, Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman, who face off once again (Air Force One) for the second time on screen that really steal the show. Ford and Oldman are the real treat of the film. The dynamic of the hate based relationship makes for great entertainment. The movie would have been better served with less of Hemsworth’s character and more of the two of them squaring off against one another. They are spectacular when they are on screen together, however, they aren’t granted enough screen time together as both take a backseat to the main story of Hemsworth’s character, the young upstart, Adam Cassidy. The rest of the cast isn't nearly as spectacular as those two, but they make the film worth watching. Amber Heard is little more than eye candy.
Paranoia is basically about the have and have nots. It’s a film about a man using all the wrong measures to achieve success in the corporate world. It’s not the first, best, or most original way a story of this nature has been told. Paranoia was exactly what I expected. It’s a movie that will make its target audience believe in the American dream but with a twist of reality sprinkled in. It is a movie that reestablishes how the good guys can still save the day. It’s a decent movie that will surely be better than most of the crap on television. Not a great film but it will satisfy any movie fan and be worth the time spent watching it. A decent addition to your collection but if you can Redbox or Netflix it, then you should.


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