Paparazzi (2004)

Paparazzi_1266389779_2004I was looking forward to “Paparazzi”, I really was, I mean Cole Hauser is a cool mofo, and I was glad that he’d finally been given a vehicle of his own for once. But when I was done, I was disappointed, and pretty damn pissed that this was such a piece of crap. I mean, how can anyone with half a brain buy in to this nonsense? Mel Gibson’s Hairstylist directs this faux-actioner that serves up more of a message, but to whom? What’s the message here? From its mere facade of a crappy actioner, it also attempts to become a nonsensical message about poor celebrities, and from its dumb plot it attempts to pass of commentary, problem is it isn’t smart enough to pull off that sort of commentary, especially commentary no really intelligent person gives a shit about.

Celebrities and Paparazzi, they’re an enemy and ally that form an uneasy relationship, but the problem is celebrities love the paparazzi and turn on them when they’re really famous; give me a break. Are we supposed to feel sorry for Gibson and his message that the paparazzi are evil vile human beings who rape, kill, and actually are willing to murder for money? That’s not only insanely melodramatic, but it’s ridiculous. This action flick goes from cool to melodramatic at the drop of a dime when Bo Laramie who is now an action star, is nearly killed with his family by paparazzi and now seeks vengeance through a diabolical plan. What the film basically says is leave us poor pretty celebrities alone and die you wicked paparazzi (boo hoo). Judging by the cast and crew of heavyweights behind the scenes whom have the balls to pay for such a piece of junk, but not enough balls to star in it themselves. This is basically just a “pity” parade that simplifies a moot point; boo hoo, you’re a good looking man who is rich and we’re supposed to feel bad for you?

Give me a break, Gibson. The film from the actors, to the story are so utterly artificial and comes off as a tasteless piece of attempted farce that takes itself way too seriously in terms of its message. Had this been a campy actioner, then it could have served for some twisted black comedy with commentary, but its clear by the attempted character drama and insanely bad acting by the paparazzi villains, that this was intended as a straight up action with a message. What Gibson and the hairstylist director doesn’t realize is this alienates its audience because it appeals to celebrities, it’s target audience are celebrities (!), there will be no one in the audience relating to any character here thinking “Yeah, I hate paparazzi too, they screw me over all the time”. And that in turn makes this so elitist because it’s only appealing to the rich elite, and we’re basically watching an in-joke that we just don’t get.

That said, Cole Hauser is bad-ass, it’s just a shame he hasn’t received a proper vehicle to fit his psychotic gleam and intense persona yet. Cole Hauser would have been my choice for The Punisher had Tom Jane not aced the role, and Hauser needs a new agent, and a new movie to proclaim what I already know: Cole Hauser is one bad mofo. But for all the rage and character Hauser tries to inject in to his character, Bo Laramie is so bland a anti-hero that we could care less about what happens because he has nothing we want to know about him. We don’t care who he is, why he is, and what he’s aiming for. He goes on this far-fetched tirade of vengeance upon these paparazzi, and the plot holes begin. This is a man, which the film explains, is in high demand, and is instantly recognizable, he’s followed everywhere by paparazzi, and can barely move, and suddenly he’s stealth-like once he goes on this revenge mission?

He has no idea how to get rid of the paparazzi, but he knows how to trick them in to getting themselves killed? And Dennis Farina is incredibly wasted as a detective who can’t tell his hand from his ass. Many times he looks like he knows what Bo is up to, and then others looks like he’s having trouble keeping up. It’s insane. Then, in the end, it completely contradicts itself by instead of sympathizing for this character, makes him out to be a bit of a psycho, but then why did we watch this?  I’m disappointed. I wanted a fun, cool, action flick starring the bad ass Cole Hauser, and I got a mindless, mind-numbing, melodramatic, far-fetched, ridiculous, campy piece of shit… starring bad ass Cole Hauser. My brain and I are going to find some real entertainment.