Paranoia: Rated “PG-13” (1 hr. 46 min.)
Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, Amber Heard, Harrison Ford, Lucas Till
Directed by: Robert Luketic
Someone once told us that to get ah head in business, you need to be cut throat. Well if there were a underlying theme to this implausible yet very entertaining flick that would be it. Consider Adam Cassidy (Hemsworth), a regular guy trying to get ahead in his entry-level job at the über high-tech Mid-Town Manhattan corporation, Wyatt Corporation. He’s a lowly, but highly talented tech who is working on — what he believes — is the next great technological leap in cell phones (and if anyone can tell us why they still call these hang-held computers that have more computing power than the computers that NASA used to first launch men into space, please tell us).
Anyways, Adam and his crew are “Bridge & Tunnel” folk who commute into the Manhattan from the Burroughs, and feel that they are doing all of the hard work while their corporate overlords are raking in huge bonuses. They all have the itch, and feel that tiis is their time. Only when they do present to their arrogant, self-absorbed, ruthless CEO, Nicholas Wyatt (Oldman), he not only casually dismisses them, but ridicule and insults them as well as fires them. With nothing left to loose, Andy indulges in the corporate level of the last great of defiance, and use the (not yet defunded) corporate credit card to have one last bash in a banging Midtown club where they spend upwards of 16K on a night of debauchery. It is there that Andy meets Emma Jennings (Heard).
Emma has a thing for blowing off steam and has a thing for “Bridge & Tunnel” guys, so not only does Andy never get her name (how do you spends the night with someone and not get their name?) but she blows him off the next morning. As it turns out, not getting her name or number was the least worst part of Andy’s day, as he gets himself picked up by Wyatt’s goon squad and brought before his former boss for a dressing down. Andy is told in no uncertain terms that either he goes undercover and perform some corporate espionage on Wyatt’s rival and former mentor Jock Goddard (Ford), or he and all his friends will go to jail. As can be expected, Andy agrees.
What happens next in this high-stakes thriller, is that Wyatt’s people reform Andy’s damaged rep and “allow” him to get hired by Goddard’s firm. Adam soon finds himself occupying the corner office and living the life of his dreams. However, behind the scenes, he is simply a pawn in Wyatt’s corporate game as he is only there to grab the plans and prototype of Goddard’s next Generation phone. Complicating matters is that Emma is one of the top marking gurus there and Andy is finding himself using their mutual attraction to leverage himself not only back into her bed, gut into the good graces of Goddard so he can get his hands on the new phone. Ultimately Andy needs to find a way out from under (both) his boss(es) who will stop at nothing, even murder, to win a multi-billion dollar advantage.
While the story itself is a bit over-the-top, the acting is well-paced, and entertaining enough to hold our attention throughout. A fine enough film, go see it, you’ll enjoy it as well.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.