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Paparazzi
2004 - PG-13 - 85 Mins.
Director: Paul Abascal
Producer: Mel Gibson
Written By: Forrest Smith
Starring: Cole Hauser, Robing Tunney, Tom Sizemore, Blake Ryan, Daniel Baldwin, Dennis Farina
Review by: Joe Rickey
Official Site: www.paparazzithemovie.com
   
Bo Laramie (Cole Hauser, ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’) is an up and coming action star in Hollywood. His latest film, titled “Adrenaline Force” is set to be released soon and is being hyped as the project that will launch Laramie’s career to new heights on the Hollywood food chain. So, everything in Laramie’s life seems to be peachy keen. He has a loving wife and a precocious son named Abby (Robin Tunney) and Zach (Blake Ryan), respectively. They’re there to support him every step of the way.

The only problem is that his newfound fame has got the paparazzi hounding Bo like a pack of rabid dogs. A particularly vicious breed of reporters is led by one Rex Harper (Tom Sizemore).

They start off by taking relatively innocuous photos of Bo’s son playing soccer but it is not long before they escalate to contorting and otherwise twisting the truth, such as when a photo of Abby taking a perfectly normal medication is turned into her supposedly having a drug problem. The last straw for Bo is when the reporters and the flashbulbs from their cameras cause a car accident that puts Zach into a coma and Abby on even more medication. This leads Bo Laramie on a relentless quest for revenge as he will stop at nothing to see that the paparazzi pay for what they have done. A revenge thriller so gleefully outlandish it ends up being a perverse bit of fun.

‘Paparazzi’ is a film that, if it is to be enjoyed, simply can’t be taken the wee bit seriously. Think of it as a slightly less brutal version of April’s ‘The Punisher,’ complete with a similar plotline and you have the right idea about what sort of film ‘Paparazzi’ is.

The film builds up the All-American family life that Laramie is currently living; a life in which no luxury is spared. Bo Laramie is a man that has paid his dues; it is even mentioned that he lived and worked in Montana before coming to Los Angeles to become an actor. While doing this the film also makes certain that the audience develops an intense hatred for Rex Harper and his gang of goons; including Daniel Baldwin as a man almost as disgusting as Harper. Harper and his men are portrayed as men without morals; men willing to anything, anything at all, for the scoop. At this the film succeeds in spades as Sizemore and the others are convincing every step of the way.

After it has developed up to a point, the film then shows how the familial tragedy changes Laramie into a man not unlike those who initially cause him pain. He is bent on revenge and not even the efforts of a detective, adeptly played by Dennis Farina, is going to stop him. Cole Hauser is effectively convincing in his character’s transition from a nice guy to a being hell-bent on making others suffer. He doesn’t even become completely unlikable to the audience because we sympathize with his plight; hoping in the corner of our minds that, if faced with the same dilemma, we would possess the courage to do what he does.

Of course, a film such as this usually asks the viewer to suspend their disbelief and ‘Paparazzi’ is no different. There are numerous coincidences that lead the story on; some of which are rather frustrating in their utmost inevitability.

Despite the coincidental nature of some of the storytelling, ‘Paparazzi’ remains a satisfying tale of revenge, Hollywood style.
 
Movie Guru Rating
An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater.
  4 out of 5 stars

 
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