Paranoia is a lavish techno-thriller with no central processor.
Director Robert Luketic, who’s made a career out of forgettable rom-coms, and Barry Levy, the writer behind the Rashomon-derived Vantage Point, cobble together a motion picture out of spare parts. Liam Hemsworth makes for a bland, generic lead – cocky AND dull – with a back-story written by Microsoft paperclip (a pitiably schlubbish Richard Dreyfuss plays his long-suffering blue collar dad).
A bow-tied Gary Oldman and bald-headed Harrison Ford play dueling corporate giants, in whose power struggle Hemsworth gets caught up, but it’s all rote villain stuff, sadly predictable and ultimately beneath them. Corporate espionage makes for plenty of boardroom meetings and Paranoia is ultimately reduced to playing at Wall Street.
Moral dilemmas mean nothing when we don’t give a shit about the characters. Amber Heard is wasted as an obligatory sparky love interest and Josh Holloway gets even less as a run-of-the-mill dogged FBI agent. The one scene featuring the combative Oldman and Ford together crackles, but, like the turning of Hemsworth’s worm, it’s too little too late.
Paranoia has no spark to it and a redundant title; if, as Ford’s character says at one point, “competition breeds innovation” then do your bit for the cinematic gene pool and give this turkey a miss.