Directed By: Robert Luketic

Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, Amber Heard, Harrison Ford, Lucas Till, Embeth Davidtz, Julian McMahon, Josh Holloway, and Richard Dreyfuss

Corporate life is something that sounds cool on paper but is insanely difficult to make interesting on the big screen.  Sure, rivalries in the workplace exist.  People often face complex real-world challenges, and there are those who cheat to get ahead.  Nonetheless, the vast majority of any white collar worker's typical day is spent in one of three ways — on a laptop, on a smartphone, or in a conference room.  That's a terribly difficult life to make engaging and interesting on the big screen for moviegoers.  Isolating those rare slices of drama is a nearly impossible endeavor.  Only the best can do it well.  Robert Luketic reminds us of this once again in the abysmal thriller Paranoia.

Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth) is a 27 year-old who's yet to move up the professional ladder.  Adam and his friends Kevin (Lucas Till) and Allison (Angela Sarafyan) have been working at Wyatt Corp. for six years and are still in the same positions with the same low starting salaries.  Tired of slaving for nothing, they intend to use an upcoming presentation to CEO Nick Wyatt (Gary Oldman) as an opportunity to get ahead.  Instead, Adam ends up insulting Wyatt, and they all get fired.  As a symbolic way of flipping the bird at Wyatt for letting them go, Adam and his friends go out and party the night away on the company's dime to the tune of $16,000.  That night, Wyatt meets a woman named Emma Jennings (Amber Heard).  They have a one night stand, but nothing more.  Adam is too bridge and tunnel for Emma's taste.

The next day, Adam is picked up by Wyatt's men and is taken to the office of the man who just fired him.  Aware of the fact that Adam is bearing the financial burden of his ailing father Frank (Richard Dreyfuss) who suffers from emphysema, Wyatt offers the unemployed professional a chance to make some real money and square the $16,000 debt he just racked up the night prior.  Wyatt offers Adam the chance to make $1.5 million for infiltrating his rival Jock Goddard's (Harrison Ford) corporation and giving him information on Accura, a new game-changing phone about to be unveiled.  To do so, Adam will need to work with Dr. Judith Bolton (Embeth Davidtz) to prepare for the challenges ahead.  One challenge neither of them sees coming, however, is Emma, a marketing executive for Goddard and the woman who tossed Adam aside pretty quickly the other morning.

Paranoia is a dull thriller devoid of any actual thrills.  This is mostly because director Robert Luketic fails to turn this sleek-looking, high-tech exploration of corporate life into a movie with a remotely interesting story.  If you don't engage the audience with something worthwhile, you can't thrill them.  On top of this, Luketic tackles the often cutthroat nature of corporate culture and tries to incorporate the theme of morality or a lack thereof in this culture.  In his film, everyone lies, and everyone steals.  There's no right and wrong.  There are only winners and losers.  While that's certainly a theme that has some merit, he heavy-handedly shoves this down moviegoers’ throats.  He doesn't really explore this theme in a meaningful way throughout the movie.  With all of this in mind, Paranoia lacks a soul.

The acting is just as horrendous as Luketic's directing.  For his part as the main character Adam Cassidy, Liam Hemsworth is bland, bland, and bland.  He brings no personality to the table.  He doesn't have the leading man charisma to make us care about his character's situation at all.  His performance as Adam makes Paranoia utterly forgettable.  For her part as Adam's love interest Emma Jennings, Amber Heard is in the movie for her looks and nothing more.  She adds no depth or value to the film whatsoever.  As Adam's father Frank, Richard Dreyfuss gives a cheesy, cliché-filled performance that no Oscar winner should ever be giving.  Finally, the film features screen legends and Air Force One co-stars Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman at each other's throats.  Both giving stale, over-the-top performances, they should throw their hats in for early consideration at the Razzies next year.

Paranoia is the kind of film that makes me question why I go to the movies.  I don't know why anyone thought this corporate thriller would be a good idea to make.  The film is undeniably dull, and the performances are nothing but underwhelming.  This film is so bad that I don't even have a real drink recommendation for you.  All I can say is that mystery shots are needed.  Something strong should help you get through this one.  Paranoia gets a wasted rating.