Suspect nothing much from 'Paranoia'
“Paranoia” is the perfect name for a thriller about how our smartphones are outsmarting us. Sadly, it is as slow, slick and superficial as the director of “21” and “Killers” can make it.
Liam Hemsworth is Adam Cassidy, a low-level apps innovator bribed and blackmailed into corporate espionage by one cell phone mogul — Gary Oldman — into stealing from his old mentor, another mogul (Harrison Ford).
Amber Heard is the dishy marketing guru Adam must betray. Richard Dreyfuss is the sickly father always dozing through ballgames who is the reason Adam is desperate for cash.
The story, based on a Joseph Finder novel, takes a very long time to get up to speed. There's all this thinly atmospheric filler about surveillance — the ways our phones track us, the “security” that they provide and that is so easily hacked, the sinister people misusing all this data.
One of the nifty plot devices is Adam's unheralded gift for instantly figuring out the pass code to any phone he picks up, handy when you're infiltrating a paranoid corporation whose latest phone innovation will “start a revolution.”
The laziest scripts on Earth over-explain themselves, starting with redundant voice-over narration and finishing with the weariest truisms, bromides and rules to live by.
Director Robert Luketic's team flashes the cash in this heady world Adam infiltrates — stunning apartments, collectible sports cars, designer clothes, exotic offices with sci-fi-level security systems.
Which Adam, who is fired for being a third-rate thinker at one cellphone company, somehow figures out how to foil, on his way to tidying up this messy double-and-triple-dealing tale with a nice bow at the end.
Roger Moore reviews movies for McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.