Paparazzi (2004)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
Crime Thriller, Showbiz Drama, Thriller
Paul Abascal Paul Abascal
Cole Hauser Cole Hauser
Robin Tunney Robin Tunney
Dennis Farina Dennis Farina
Daniel Baldwin Daniel Baldwin
Tom Hollander Tom Hollander

5.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: February 06, 2005
Bo Laramie (Cole Hauser) plays an action movie-star who has just starred in a hit movie. Since his popularity has skyrocketed due to the success of said movie, the press are all over him... taking his pictures, asking questions, the usual celebrity stuff. However, the paparazzi are just a bit more intrusive into his personal life, taking photos without his consent and making up stories to go along with those photographs. Bo's wife Abby (Robin Tunney) and son Zach (Blake Bryan) aren't too happy about the unwanted attention, but they try to deal with it as best they can. However, when one particular camera-guy by the name of Rex Parker (Tom Sizemore) starts taking pictures of Zach playing soccer, Bo walks over to him and asks for him to please stop. Rex laughs at him and drops a few insults, at which point, Bo punches the man. A lawsuit is filed, and Bo is ordered to attend anger management for his anger problem. Meanwhile, Rex is quite pissed off at Bo for his assault, so he rounds up a few of his paparazzi buddies by way of Wendell Stokes (Daniel Baldwin), Leonard Clark (Tom Hollander), and Kevin Rosner (Kevin Gage). The foursome decide to make Bo's life a living hell by taking as many pictures as they can, and coming up with the most outlandish and insulting headlines to go along with them. Bo takes this abuse in stride, but when these paparazzi kids cause him to have an accident that puts his son into a coma due to having chased his car in order to take more pictures, Bo decides that enough is enough and sets out to get revenge on them.

While I don't sympathize with celebrities who want to have both their privacy and worldwide fame at the same time, this movie did add some elements to that general storyline to make things interesting for someone with an outlook such as mine. Although the storyline was chock-full of highly unrealistic events and decisions, and even though the underlying message of the movie implies that four murders is a justifiable method of getting revenge on those who have taken pictures of you, the end result was a fairly entertaining movie. I did find that the portrayal of both the celebrities and the paparazzi was highly skewed here, however. On the one hand, we have a major Hollywood star such as Bo who expects to receive zero attention outside of the premiere of his movie, which comes off as asking for just a bit too much. On the other hand, we have the paparazzi who are portrayed as evil scum who get their kicks via torturing the celebrities and making their lives miserable. Some middle ground on either or both sides of things would have really helped the movie out, though to be fair, it probably would have made things less entertaining. I suppose that's to be expected from a movie that culls its storyline from a problem that, while real, is highly exaggerated by the media. Then, there's the ending (which I won't spoil here). I really hate those types of movies where everything has to end on a high-note... you know the type, where the storyline plays out, the star wins the lottery, scores with the hot chick, moves to the Bahama's, and then winks at the camera just before the credits roll. Indeed, this movie pulls out one of those types of endings, and it was really quite the lackluster finish.

One thing that really managed to irk me about this movie was the music that was included in almost every scene. It seems as though the director had a few techno CD's laying around, and decided to throw in every last track from each of those CD's into this movie. While those tunes do fit a few of the scenes that are found here, there's a large number of scenes where they seem highly out of place; an example would be watching Zach, a six-year-old, play soccer with a blaring techno beat overlapping the scene. It added nothing to the scene, and while the scene itself could have been shortened, the loud techno music just made things downright silly. On the acting side of things, we have a slightly below-average cast. Cole Hauser in the lead role of Bo was a bad choice for starters, as Cole does seem to be a pretty good actor, but he definitely did not fit in a role such as this. In each of the scenes where he's required to be this bad-ass man out for revenge, he appears to be nothing more than a pampered celebrity with little in the way of the fighting skills that would be required to do the things he did. Tom Sizemore played the character of Rex decently enough, though the character itself wasn't exactly top-quality stuff. He did the best he could with the role, so no complaints for the man himself. Even though there is a large number of other characters who pop up throughout the movie, nobody else really stands out either way; while no one caught my eye as something to bitch about, nobody really came off as being something worth mentioning either.

Overall, it was a slightly entertaining film, though it certainly isn't something to go out of your way to rent either. Wait until it hits TBS or some such station, then give it a viewing on one of those Sunday's when nothing else is on. 4/10.
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KaOTiK #1: KaOTiK - added 02/08/2005, 08:59 AM
worth watching, good for today's standards
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