The thriller ‘Paranoia’ isn’t even that paranoid

Air Force One” alumni Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman reunite in “Paranoia.” Credit: Peter Iovino
Air Force One” alumni Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman reunite in “Paranoia.”
Credit: Peter Iovino

‘Paranoia’
Director: Robert Luketic
Stars: Liam Hemsworth, Harrison Ford
Rating: PG-13
1 Globe (out of 5)

Just because a movie is set in the world of adults doesn’t mean it’s not childish. “Paranoia” delves into the realm of cut-throat business, with aging CEOs played by Gary Oldman and a hairless Harrison Ford battling it out for cell phone technology that will largely be patronized by those two generations younger than them. But its understanding of this microcosm is only slightly more credible than the one in “Birdemic,” where boyish men in cheap suits casually make deals in the trillions. It doesn’t even seem to fully embrace its title, which could have been saved for a movie that’s more than simply garden variety suspicious.

Attempting to crash this scene is Adam (Liam Hemsworth), a good guy upstart with working-class roots. (His father, played by Richard Dreyfuss, has health care woes.) After a pricey night out on the company dime, Adam is blackmailed by his fearsome boss (Gary Oldman) into befriending the competition (Ford) and stealing his secrets.

Not since undercover agent Ryan Phillippe was able to gain the confidence of seasoned fed Chris Cooper in “Breach” has a painfully wooden actor been so mysteriously capable at expert subterfuge. Hemsworth is younger brother to Chris, star of “Thor,” and he lacks his build, presence and modest chops.

Dumb twists abound, and one would have to be thick, not paranoid, to not see them coming. Matters quickly and ridiculously escalate, with assassins (among them Julian Nichols) who try to take out our young hero. But they’re easily felled. One near-assassination in a car garage is thwarted with a single punch. The way in which Adam proves inevitably victorious is the opposite of a chess move — it’s so profoundly lazy that the villains ought to have been jailed only for lacking basic intelligence.

Director Robert Luketic (“Legally Blonde”) tries to distract with a slickness that’s periodically seductive. It looks the part of a smart movie, but underneath its pleasant exterior lies rank stupidity and a dull forthrightness fitting with its young star. Only the “Air Force One” rematch between Oldman and Ford, the latter modestly enjoying playing both villainous and supporting, offers a respite from the amateur-hour shenanigans.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.