"Paparazzi" looked bad from the beginning. Starring a no-name actor in the form of Cole Hauser and featuring a blatant rip-off of the Princess Diana tragedy, it was a revenge thriller primed to make it into Worst Films of the Year lists. Surprisingly, "Paparazzi" isn't that bad... unfortunately, it's still pretty bad.
Hauser stars as something he's never going to be, and that's a world famous action star who is beginning to realize just what a curse it is to be popular (how terrible, right?). His wife (Robin Tunney) and son are soon targeted by the most ruthless and evil paparazzi known to man, and after one fateful night they are almost killed in a car crash caused by the wicked photographers. So, Hauser's character does what any celebrity would do in that situation... he begins to kill them one by one.
"Paparazzi" has a pretty stupid plot, but it does capitalize on a continuous dilemma in the world - celebrities have the right to privacy but people will pay money to see dirt on the people they admire. Of course, the movie only raises any serious questions for a fleeting moment and then gets on with the "excitement." The movie is an automated revenge thriller, with no real surprises or suspense, but since the men getting killed are as bad as they are, it is slightly amusing to watch them die. Unfortunately, this is where the movie also goes wrong. "Paparazzi" is about a man who wreaks revenge by essentially becoming a serial killer of sorts, so while the paparazzi are bad enough, the protagonist isn't much better. There's not a single likable character in the entire picture, unless you count Dennis Farina who has the thankless job of playing a detective who ends up having absolutely nothing to do the entire movie.
From a completely brainless perspective, however, "Paparazzi" isn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. The production value is actually quite good and slick and the movie does feature a fairly recognizable cast, even if they aren't box office draws. Of course, you always have to be worried when a Baldwin brother who isn't Alec is involved, but oh well...
Might I just say that Tom Sizemore should fire his agent? I know he's having legal trouble at the time, but Sizemore is a pretty good actor who has had his fair share of good roles but who has also been in more than enough crappy movies to fill a latrine factory. What are you thinking, Tom?
"Paparazzi" has its moments and is pretty easy to watch if you're playing pool or something like that. It's still a bad movie, but it's short and ultimately harmless.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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