Right off the bat, Paranoia alienates some people. Mainly older people, especially the older rich. But for people in my generation, it pulls you in from the very beginning. Paranoia looks at the current generation and how we work, and one man’s effort to over throw the elder regime.
Liam “Baby” Hemsworth plays Adam Cassidy a young post college graduation with the naive attitude that the whole world is in front of him. When his world is suddenly pulled out from under him, he finds himself working for the older, lying, rich, and a group he despises. His ethics are strained even more as he is asked to steal corporate secrets from his boss’ rival. Caught between Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford, Adam woes the girl of his dreams strives to take care of his father, and to be more than his parents were. Going against this could mean his life or the life of his father.
The movie is a taunt psychological thriller. Viewers watch Adam change from a naive college graduate to one of the men he never wanted to become. But Adam never loses sight of his goals, outsmart the villains and save his father’s life. This combined with a love affair gives a second layer to corporate espionage thrillers. It’s not just about getting ahead; it’s about getting out with relationships intact.
What truly carries these relationships is the genuinely talented cast. Ford and Oldman are great as warring tech companies trying to manipulate the newbie into doing what they want. They have a dry evilness that scares you without pulling out guns or violence. They are great at the hint of violence. Amber Heard plays Adam’s love interest who works for Ford. Heard is an amazing actress and easily play both the emotional lover and shrewd business woman. Nip/Tuck’s Julian McMahon gives a side of toughness putting Adam on the run. But it is Baby Hemsworth who carries the movie. Watching him you forget how young he really is as his character emotionally ages before your eyes. He leaves no trace of accent pulling off the All American Boy. In fact, dare I say it; he is a much better actor than his brother.
For me personally, it was an allegory of my generation. I come from a generation that believes that with a degree we are ready to take on the world and make big money. But when we get to the real world, the shock knocks us down. Everything we were told about what having an education would be is false; too many people have it these days. Besides, those newly in the work force shouldn’t expect such an easy work life; we have to do our time. Adam tries to circumnavigate this and fails. The difference between him and me? His consequences affected every aspect of his life to a deadly degree.
The biggest issue with Paranoia is its name. There were moments when they played with the idea that Adam was just seeing things. But this was short lived. People really were following and threatening him. It’s like Abduction; how can you come a movie something when the title doesn’t happen at all.
While not the best movie, Paranoia is thrilling and engaging. The cast truly personify their characters drawing viewers into a world that is very foreign to them. But most of all, Liam stands out from his brother and on his own two feet.