Friday, August 16, 2013

Paranoia

I had to choose between a screening of Paranoia or Jobs this past Wednesday night, and I chose Paranoia. What I didn't know, however, was that Paranoia is similar to Jobs, in that it's also about a computer maven - two, actually - though, in this case, they're at "war" with each other, and one of the mavens will take great lengths in order to save his company.

Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth) is 27 years old and sick of still working an entry level job at Wyatt Corp. He and his co-workers pitch the CEO, Nicolas Wyatt (Gary Oldman), and Wyatt basically tells them to get out of his office. Fired and dejected, Adam has a bright idea: the company "slush fund" credit card, so to speak, is still active for them, and he parties with his former coworkers to the tune of $16,000 at one of NYC's finest clubs. The next day, he gets a call from Wyatt, who isn't very happy, but who offers him a solution: go to work at Eikon, his competitor's company, and find out about the new cell phone prototype they have - so that Wyatt Corp. can scoop the competition and release it first. Adam has no choice but to agree, and he soon finds himself entangled in a world of illegal trickery and espionage.

I'm a fan of Liam Hemsworth from The Hunger Games and other movies, and he did well here; to seal the deal, they threw in some gratuitous pretty nice shirtless scenes as well. He ends up falling for Emma Jennings (Amber Heard), a marketing exec at Eikon, and she and the Eikon crew, including Harrison Ford, do well also, although I would have liked to have seen more screentime for Ford; he's fantastic at playing "icons" (no pun intended). Gary Oldman headed up Wyatt Corp. and was great at playing the slimy CEO who hires Hemsworth's character to steal from Eikon.

Yes, see this film. When it comes down to it, it's a summer popcorn flick, but it has a few clever twists up its sleeve, especially near the end, and it was fun to watch powerhouses Ford and Oldman square off. Interestingly enough, Hemsworth is only 23 but is playing a 27-year-old here; you would never know it, though, as he looks the part. Anyone who likes action movies or corporate espionage thrillers will like Paranoia, and I bet it does well at the box office this weekend, even though it will have to compete with Kick-Ass 2.

Paranoia is in theaters today, August 16th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 106 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.

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