Tuesday, 10 December 2013 00:00

Paranoia: High Tech Corporate Spying Goes Hollywood

Harrisson Ford in ParanoiaIn Paranoia, the new movie starring Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Liam Hemsworth and Amber Heard, the world of high tech corporate espionage comes alive on the silver screen.

The thriller pits Ford against Oldman

in a tale of treachery and deceit involving very high stakes and a dangerous game between rival companies. Movie fans will have the chance to see the two veteran actors battle each other once again (they last met up with one another in 1997’s Air Force One) - but this time as competing tech company bosses - and with Liam Hemsworth’s character caught in the middle.

In the film, Hemsworth plays Adam Cassidy, a low-level employee who becomes entangled in a scheme to steal secrets for his boss, Nic Wyatt (Oldman), the head of a mobile phone tech company, from his lifelong rival, Jock Goddard, who runs a competing firm.

Things get messy after Cassidy infiltrates Goddard’s ranks and falls in love with Emma Jennings (Amber Heard), a marketing exec at Eikon Technology, which is owned by Cassidy.

Further complications arise when the FBI enters the picture, and the resulting conflict threatens the life of the Hemsworth character along with his budding romance.

Director Robert Luketic attempts to create a believable drama

paranoiawithout having the audience get bogged down in the techie aspects, and through strong performances by the actors (including a brilliant cameo role played by Richard Dreyfuss) manages to succeed overall.

Although the plot seems a bit unwieldy at times, and the tension never quite reaches the level it seems to aim for, the acting helps keep things afloat and compelling enough to make the film worth watching.

The subject is quite relevant these days, and it seems appropriate that the action takes place in the mobile phone tech world, since much corporate espionage in the real world now takes place through the use of mobile monitoring software. Mobile spy apps have become tools for not only engaging in corporate spying, but also in protecting companies against the theft of secrets by unscrupulous employees.

In the tech world, the stakes are high and the rewards are great, so staying one step ahead of the competition is vital enough to tempt those involved to commit crimes in order to maintain their edge.

This is true in the real world, not just in Hollywood thrillers, and Paranoia gives us a glimpse into the kind of dog-eat-dog practices that have become all too common in the world of high tech marketing and development.

Last modified on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 12:09