So much of what we think about movies when we see them has to do with perception. And based on the reviews I had seen about Paranoia, I expected very little of the movie by the time I went to see it. But I’m still on the fence about going to see The Butler and had been waiting for Paranoia for a while, so I decided to give it a try.
It was better than expected. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it was a great movie, or even a great thriller, but it was good enough to feel that I hadn’t wasted my time watching it, and even found myself entertained by it.
There are some pieces of a great movie here. Harrison Ford is great in the role of Jock Goddard, a business titan targeted by a former partner in an act of corporate espionage. Liam Hemsworth is merely solid in the lead role as Adam Cassidy, the mole, but his chemistry with Amber Heard as Emma Jennings is actually decent.
But the movie is also clunky in places. The basis for the title of the movie is tangential to the plot. Cassidy comes across at times as either bipolar or completely unhinged. The writing confines Richard Dreyfuss, who plays Adam Cassidy’s father, to a set piece. Half-developed characters are strewn across the screen, and the portrayals of Cassidy’s motives for becoming a corporate spy could hardly be any more ham-handed. And the movie caps this off by trying to hard at the end. A solid movie could have been a great one if someone had simply focused and refined it.
You can probably read that and think that the movie is a total dud, and it’s not. But if it weren’t for all the reviews that read the exact same way, I might have been a bit more disappointed than I was. So, go ahead and read it that way — but only if you plan on actually going to see “Paranoia.”