Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!


It has been far too long since we’ve had a movie where computers can do anything with a few keyboard taps.  The late ‘80s and most of the ‘90s were riddled with this.  But, as society has become more accustomed to and aware of how your standard home computer works, films largely dialed back that trope.

Then comes 2013’s techo-thriller Paranoia, and the “computers can do anything” trope comes roaring back with a vengeance.  And it is glorious.


Make no mistake, this film is absolutely abysmal.  The story is completely convoluted, over-plotted, clichéd, and lacks any sort of internal logic.  But, besides all those terrible things, the film completely embraces the fantasy aspect that you can use any sort of internet/computer technology and make it do whatever you want in just a few simple steps.

Paranoia commits to this.  Commits.

Considering that, this pushes the movie into “so bad, it’s good” territory.  But, it’s not good.  Unlike Batman & Robin, I will never watch this movie ever again.  It is entertaining enough while you are watching it.  In an Abduction kind of way (which, eerily enough, I reviewed a year ago today).

Even after watching the movie, I am still not sure what the story actually was beyond the basics.  Gary Oldman blackmails Liam Hemsworth to spy on the company of his rival, Harrison Ford, so he can get something from him and do something with it.  But, oh no!  Harrison Ford knows what is going on and tries to blackmail Hemsworth in a scheme to get Gary Oldman.

Yeah…it is a total mess.  But, on the plus side, like the writers were committed to “computers doing anything”, Ford and Oldman were committed to their roles.  Obviously, they were there for the paycheck, but they seemed to throw themselves into their respective part, particularly Oldman.  To be honest, it was fun seeing the two of them play off of one another.

As Zack noted so long ago, this film was a total disaster critically and at the box office.  Surprising lows for both Oldman and Ford.  And, to some extent, for Liam Hemsworth.  Actually, most of the cast has a pretty strong pedigree.  How did they all end up in this?

This is just an insanely bad movie, but I enjoyed how stupid it was.  If you like incredibly bad, but watchable movies, look no further than Paranoia (a title which also doesn’t make any sense).



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