Director Robert Luketic’s “Paranoia” is a techno-thriller featuring some big time stars; but for the life of me, I just could not figure exactly what the paranoia was.
Nicholas Wyatt (Gary Oldman) and rival Jack Gordon (Harrison Ford) have a bone to pick. The former partners of a multi-national tech firm have had a falling out and they now face off against each other as competitors. Wyatt claims that Gordon stole his processor technology, fired him, and now he seeks revenge. Enter young Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth), a low level tech employee for Wyatt’s company who makes a presentation to his boss that is so lame that he gets himself and his entire group fired. Cassidy becomes so angry that he takes the gang to a Manhattan disco where they run up a liquor tab of $16,000 on the company’s credit card, and then finishes up the evening by hooks up a chick by the name of Emma Jennings (Amber Heard).
Adam’s ambition is partially fueled by his father’s (Richard Dreyfuss) illness. His insurance has been dropped and he desperately needs a job in order to pay his father’s hospital bills. While wondering what he is going to do, he is called into the office of Wyatt, who explains to him that running up big drinking tabs on the company credit card is a no-no, and that unless restitution is in order he is going to jail. Wyatt knows Adam does not have the money so he offers an alternative: go to work for Gordon and steal his revolutionary technology which will soon hit the market. Adam cleans up his act with a make-over under the tutelage of Judith Bolton (Embeth Davidtz) and goon played by Julien McMahon (Nip/Tuck).
Adam gets hired by Gordon, the spying begins, and the supposed intrigue is kicked off when he finds out that Emma Jennings works for the company (small world).. There is some secret techno-sparing between Wyatt and Gordon, with Adam caught in the middle of it; and that is basically the crux of the movie. I thought the talent of the actors in the movie was basically wasted: Dreyfuss plays an old man with emphysema; Ford is an old man who looks like Uncle Fester; and Oldman overacts with an annoying English accent. These are all top-notch actors trying to fill roles in a movie with a weak script. In the end, I felt like I had just watched some high tech weak version of “Wall Street.” On the positive side the sound track was pretty good and you can at least follow the plot. I have seen worse; I just expected more from the talent involved.
My Rating: 3 of 5 Techno-Flops.