You could watch any 45 second stretch of Paranoia — the new film starring Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Amber Heard, Liam Hemsworth, and Richard Dreyfus — and instantly know that it is worthless. The dreadful production quality, the shuddersome acting, and the grievous writing is blatant in every second of the film. It’s actually to its credit that Paranoia is so obviously awful because no one who wasn’t being paid to do so would watch more than 90 seconds without giving up on the film. It is that evident.
Indeed, it is easily one of, if not the worst film of the year, and a testament to just how bad it is is the fact that only one critic has given it a positive review, renowned blurb whore Pete Hammond, who is maybe the most transparently evil studio lackey in the film review business. If it means getting his name on a movie poster, he will stoop to the worst kind of lies, including any notion that Liam Hemsworth is “actually very good” in Paranoia. Literally no one who has seen the film would think that. No one.
“If you’re looking for something that’s kind of a fun, adult drama, about corporate hijinks,” Pete Hammond says in his review, “you could do worse.”
That’s actually not true. You can’t do worse, because that would suggest that there is a movie about corporate hijinks in existence that is worse than Paranoia. There is not. I promise you. Even Peter Travers, who would sell his soul to Satan for a brown M&M, writes that Paranoia is a “straight-to-video write-off” and “swill.”
“Not terribly original but entertaining,” Hammond writes. Again, no. There is nothing entertaining about Paranoia; emptying the contents of your bladder into your pants is more entertaining that this movie. If Liam Hemsworth were to see his own movie, he would actually cry. It would be so dispiriting that he would probably quit acting, and apologize to everyone unfortunate enough to pay for Paranoia. Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman, who are secondary characters in the film, each had only one line that they repeated over and over throughout the film: “Please give me my paycheck now so I can go home. Please give me my paycheck now so I can go home.” I don’t even think Richard Dreyfus knows he’s in the film; I think people just came to his house and filmed him while he was sitting in a lazy chair watching TV and left an envelope in cash in his mailbox on the way out.
The screenplay, clearly written on a Saturday afternoon by Jason Dean Hall and Barry Levy, seems to have begun with the idea of it being cool to have Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford in a payoff scene together. They came up with that, and then they worked backwards. So, I will also explain the plot beginning with the payoff scene at the end of the film (Spoilers, like you give a sh*t): A cornered Adam (Hemsworth), trapped between the death threat of Nicolas (Oldman) and extortion threat by Jock (Ford), arranges a meeting with the two nemesis to record with his phone their conversation admitting to their illegal activities. The catch, however, is that Jock took away Adam’s phone. So how does he manage the feat? His techie bro hacked into Jock’s phone and used its recording device to catch them on tape while the FBI was listening, resulting in the arrest of both Jock and Nicolas. Yes, that’s the payoff. Yes, Harrison’s Ford’s character name is Jock, and yes, it is as dated as you might imagine.
How did they get to that scene? Trust me, you really don’t care. Literally no one does, not even Pete Hammond, who lies like a goddamn rug when he suggests that Ford and Oldman are “two old pros having a good time going at each other.” Unless there was someone under the table blowing them during their payoff scene then I can assure you that they were not, in fact, having a good time. They are bright men, and I guarantee you that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would’ve been too ashamed and embarrassed by the lines they were asked to deliver to have a “good time.”