23rd Mar2014

‘Paranoia’ Blu-ray Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford, Amber Heard, Richard Dreyfuss, Josh Holloway, Embeth Davidtz, Julian McMahon, Kevin Kilner | Written by Jason Dean Hall, Barry L. Levy | Directed by Robert Luketic

Paranoia-blu

Set in the cut-throat world of technology and corporate power Paranoia is an espionage thriller based on the book by Robert Finder, which sees the world’s two most powerful tech billionaires and bitter adversaries stopping at nothing to outwit and destroy each other’s business empires. But when a young rising star (Hemsworth) falls between them, he becomes trapped in the middle of the rivals’ life-and-death game of corporate espionage. By the time he realises his life is in danger, he is in far too deep and knows too much for them to let him just walk away…

It says a lot when a film starring Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford and Richard Dreyfuss makes it debut on DVD and Blu-ray rather than securing even a limited theatrical release. Well that’s what happened in the case of Paranoia and, surprisingly, I can’t really see why. Reminiscent of Enemy of the State (which I’m a big fan of), the film plays on fears of surveillance, privacy and “evil” corporations – all hot topics in todays always connected society. Admittedly, like many tech-based flicks, the film takes some leaps in terms of the actually technology available/used but that doesn’t stop Paranoia from being an effective corporate thriller.

Well when I say effective I mean not as bad as I expected. It’s not like Paranoia is going to set the world alight, especially given Robert Luketic flat, generic direction and the rather “wet” central performance from Liam Hemsworth – who by now we should all realise isn’t anywhere near as charismatic as his superhero playing brother. But given that the film is worth watching for the performances of Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford. Oldman hams it up as an evil money-hungry, corporate fat cat type, whilst Harrison Ford steals the movie as a power-mad billionaire who wants to control not only the global phone market but everyone privacy as well.

If you’re fan of techno-thrillers such as the aforementioned Enemy of the State or Disturbia, Paranoia shouldn’t disappoint. The film is out now on DVD from eOne.

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