MRR Review: "Paranoia"

Photo Credit: Relativity Media

MRR Review: "Paranoia"

Rating: PG-13 (some sexuality, violence, and language)
Length: 106 minutes
Release Date: August 16, 2013
Directed by:Robert Luketic
Genre: Drama/Thriller

"Paranoia" is a high-stakes corporate thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat within the first ten minutes. Directed by Robert Luketic, who's known for also directing hit films like "21" and "Legally Blonde," this film follows Adam Cassidy's quick rise to the corner office thanks to a regrettable agreement with his ruthless former boss to spy on his old mentor, Jock Goddard. Starring Liam Hemsworth as Adam Cassidy, Harrison Ford as Jock Goddard, and Gary Oldman as Nicholas Wyatt, "Paranoia" is a feast for the eyes.

This entire film is about greed, double-crossing, and the consequences that result from essentially making a deal with the devil. Adam Cassidy starts out as an entry-level employee at Wyatt Corporation. After being fired, he seeks revenge by having a wild night out with friends and charging the entire $16,000 bill to a Wyatt Corporation corporate credit card. When he's found out, Adam avoids jail by becoming a mole for Wyatt's former mentor, Jock Goddard. He soon finds himself a pawn in the game played between CEO Nicholas Wyatt and Jock Goddard. Adam reluctantly does as he's asked and skyrockets to the corner office, where nothing is considered taboo. In a race for a multi-billion dollar advantage, Wyatt will stop at nothing to get his hands on a super-secret gizmo Goddard has heavily secured. Once the scene is set and Adam realizes what he's gotten himself into, he has to fight for his life.

The cinematography is beautiful in "Paranoia," but that doesn't take away from the suspense of the film. Much of that beauty can be found in the scenes with Adam, played by heartthrob Liam Hemsworth of "Hunger Games." Some critics mention Hemsworth was cast solely for his ability to capture the teen and young adult audience, but he does a bang-up job playing Adam Cassidy. The audience will see attractive images of Adam sweating during a rigorous workout, dressed up in designer suits, and in causal cowboy-type clothing like flannel shirts and jeans during his trips to the bar. But heads will really spin during the hot scenes that show him between the sheets with Emma, a sexy Wyatt employee played by Amber Heard. Together, Liam Hemsworth and Amber Heard have fantastic chemistry, and viewers will be rooting for them to stay together through thick and thin. Their scenes together dance very close to the line that could have made this an R-rated movie.

Looking at Harrison Ford's role asJock Goddard,the first thing you'll notice is his haircut. Yes, those lush locks from the Hans Solo days are gone, but the buzz cut suits the high-tech moguland reminds the audience this character has edge. As rivals with Wyatt, Goddard is the good guy, but still has a few tricks up his sleeve. One of the best scenes in the film is anicy encounter between Ford and Oldman. These tech hot shots toy with each other while Adam looks on meekly. This is the scene where Ford and Oldman shine and the audience is shown just how greedy a determined CEO can be.

A thriller isn't a thriller unless there's a bad guy, and Gary Oldman is fantastic as Nicholas Wyatt. This is a man determined to be at the top no matter the consequences, and he never gives a second thought to who has to go down in the process. Despite putting so much effort into stealing a top-secret gadget from Goddard, the audience never truly finds out what that gadget is, but all the security and the fancy case it's in makes viewers think it's something uber hi-tech and astonishingly valuable.

A nice surprise is when veteran and beloved actorRichard Dreyfuss steps intomovie as Adam Cassidy's ill father. It's great to see Dryfuss on the silver screen again even if it isn't in a starring role. There are several tender moments between Dreyfuss and Hemsworth that help viewers understand why Adam is willing to do things he might not have otherwise done.

"Paranoia" has a few surprises, twists, and turns that build up suspense as this deadly game of greed and deception unfolds before the audiences' eyes. Since Adam must find a way to break free with his life, he embarks on a path that at first looks like glamor and gold, but quickly turns to dire deceitfulness and corruption. The soundtrack is spot on, rocking the audience through the emotional roller coaster on which Adam Cassidy finds himself.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars