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Paparazzi

If people in the real world were as stupid as they are in Paparazzi, then it's amazing the human race as come as far as it has. Stupidity is at a premium here, where characters run around and do things so moronic that it pulls the viewer out of what could be a cheesy revenge fantasy. Instead, one wants to slap the screenwriter (Forrest Smith) and ask him what exactly was going through his head when he committed pen to paper. The premise is simple: a paparazzi goes full throttle after a star, who decides to get revenge. Bo Laramie (Cole Hauser, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Tears of the Sun) is the latest action star in Hollywood, so of course, unscrupulous paparazzi like Rex Harper (Tom Sizemore, Dreamcatcher, Big Trouble) want candid pictures of him.

Harper and his crew of photographers are a particularly nasty bunch. They ambush Laramie, his wife Abby (Robin Tunney, The In-Laws, The Secret Lives of Dentists) and their young son and cause a massive accident. Laramie decides that he needs to take the law into his own hands and goes after Harper and his crew one by one. While the idea sounds interesting, director Paul Abascal (who started off as a hair stylist of all things) does everything he can to screw things up. Logic is absent from the script, which describes Laramie as a new star, who used to be from Montana (where they take the law into their own hands!) There is no reason why one movie would catapult him to superstardom. It just doesn't make sense why paparazzi would be so interested in one random actor. The film hints that he did something before, but never reveals what it was.

And what is Harper's beef with Laramie? As a paparazzi, he is sure to have heard some rude things from celebrities. Instead, he takes what Laramie says extremely personally, and neatly set up a photo-op/ambush during their very first meeting. The next huge mistake is that after the accident, Laramie apparently doesn't press the fact that the paparazzi caused it. This would be great PR for him, and easily sway the public to his side. After all, his kid is in a coma and his wife was all messed up. No, instead he bottles it all up and is sent to anger management. Worse, when the detective assigned to the case (Dennis Farina, Stealing Harvard, Big Trouble) begins investigating, Laramie withholds information, hoping to get to the bottom of things himself. There are so many easy ways for Laramie to solve his problem, but then again that would be too easy. And he's too stupid.

So what is the point of Paparazzi? It's hard to say. The message it appears to be sending is that it is okay for celebs to take the law into their own hands and kill. The subject matter certainly isn't new, but there hasn't really been any issues with stalkerazzi since the death of Princess Diana. There are some truly bizarre cameos by extremely well known actors, some of whom look a bit lost during their brief appearances. The real loser is Hauser. He's been in a decent amount of films, and seems to be on the cusp of becoming a recognizable movie star. For his first time out as the star of a film, he sure picked a stinker.

Haro Rates It: Really Bad.
1 hour, 25 minutes, Rated PG-13 for intense violent sequences, sexual content, and language.

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