Paparazzi was supposed to be the break out film for first-time directory Paul Abascal and actor Cole Hauser. Let me just say that Abascal needs to go back to cutting hair (he was Mel Gibson’s barber) and Hauser has done much better (Pitch Black and Tigerland). This film is a Hollywood wet dream on the paparazzi that chases them around. It is basically a revenge story about an actor (Hauser) who’s family gets hurt in a car accident caused by a pack of paparazzi camera men. The story falls apart shortly after it opens. Hauser’s character, Bo Laramie is suprised at the opening of his film by all the people taking pictures of him — he being the star of the movie. Gee, now has this guy been hiding under a rock all this time? People taking pictures of an actor who is headlining a film. The credibility of the film falls even farther as we “meet” the other characters in the film.
Tom Sizemore plays the main “bad guy” in the movie, a creepy paparazzi cameraman who seems to have a thing for stalking Laramie around. It’s not like Laramie is the only actor in the world, but it does seem like Sizemore’s character only wants to stalk Laramie around. Sizemore’s character, Rex Harper sulks in his boat after Laramie assaults him and makes evil (insert evil maniacal laugh here) plans to ruin Laramie’s life. Sigh. Can it get any worse than this? Yes.
Dennis Farina, who used to be a pretty reliable actor, plays a cop who is so dumb that he could not spot a murder if the murderer was standing in front of a dead body holding a smoking gun. Farina’s character, Detective Burton is one of the denses cops I have ever seen onscreen. At this point, the movie is about as bad as it can get.
The script builds no way for the audience to sympathize with Laramie since he is obviously a revengeful psycho-killer who has no grasp of reality. Can we sympathize with him in the beginning of the film when the paparazzi are shooting pictures of his son playing soccer? Yes. But, when he goes on a killing rampage, we lose all sympathy for him. There is no way for an audience to bond with a serial killer who has no conscious or redeeming value. The script by Forrest Smith is just one terrible situation after another.
The direction from Gibson’s former hair dress, Abascal is even worse than the writing. This film was badly directly, edited and shot. The editing is on the lines of Michael Bay chop-chop-chop editing. The shooting of the film is questionable, Abascal opts to do so many aerial shots of LA that if we cut out all the “talking” scenes in the film, we would get a nice 15 minute sky-tour of LA.
Gibson himself makes a cameo in the film, but he has nothing to say. Maybe he was there to support Abascal, but knew just how bad the film was? Probably not since his production company, Icon produced this horrible film.
Paparazzi has no entertainment value, it is a badly-written, badly-directed film about a psychopathic killer for whom we are supposed to form a bond with. It features a creepy paparazzi cameraman character with no believability at all. And also a cop who is dumber than a door-post. Skip this steaming piece of crap and save yourself an hour and a half of your time. Avoid at all cost.
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