Paparazzi Review

The Paparazzi is always a team you hear about a lot on the news for usually controversial reasons. They have to get the news and will use any means to do it. So why not make a thriller film about them right? Well this one plays out in a fairly interesting way and makes them as unlikable as possible. So when the main character decides to become a vigilante you have to decide what team you’re on. Is it time to put these guys away or should the main character flee the city?

The movie starts off with Bo finally becoming an A list celebrity so of course he’s exciting. His movies are doing well and now his family can really enjoy a pleasant life. Unfortunately the Paparazzi decide to get involved. Led by Rex they start invading Bo’s personal life and intentionally try to push him over the edge by taking pictures of his young son. Bo takes a swing at the guy but it’s recorded so the whole thing becomes a big incident. Rex decides to keep on going and next he rams into Bo’s car and sends both his wife and kid into the hospital. Maybe it’s time for Bo to start his counter attack.

Now I would say that Bo was holding back for quite a long while here. It’s not like he just jumped into the action right away. He did his best to stop this through legal means and then with threats but ultimately Rex just kept on escalating more and more. After his family was injured (Bo’s son even falling into a coma) Bo went to the cops but they said there was nothing they could do without evidence. Detective Burton was looking into this but no results were coming. Then Rex and friends broke into his home and attacked Bo’s wife which was really the last straw.

By this point Rex and friends were just going to keep on causing more damage so Bo had to add a personal touch. Now even then the first time it wasn’t anything premeditated. One of Rex’s buddies was messing with him but then later on drives too quickly and nearly falls off the mountain. So the villain is hanging on for dear life and Bo goes over to help him out. Just as Bo is about to push him back up to safety, the guy explains that he’s really going to start going after Bo even more intensely now and will sue him/wreck his life. So…Bo decides not to help him out and the guy falls. This villain was really not smart. Why would you antagonize the only guy who can possibly save you at this point? At least start messing with him afterwards instead.

Regardless this was where Bo really stepped into vigilante mode as he took the guy out. The villains are so comically evil though that you really don’t feel bad for them. Put it this way, Bo tried every possible method of de-escalation first and only when that didn’t work did he take the next steps. Being a vigilante always needs to be the last straw only to be used in a situation where there are no legal means left available to help you. Bo was completely out of those and since these guys were not about to stop, it was time to put them in their place.

So the whole climax ends up being very satisfying here and Bo is a fun character to root for. He is the definition of a nice guy who can only be pushed so far before he ends up having to react. The film also manages a bit of a Death Note kind of vibe here with him and Burton having a lot of veiled conversations. Burton seems to suspect a lot about Bo’s involvement here but has no proof while Bo is new to the game and plays dumb, but sometimes a little too dumb. They both basically end up at an impasse for a while there but it was very engaging to watch.

Burton isn’t a great detective though. Near the end of the film he finally realizes that he should check the security cameras around the crash to find evidence. Shouldn’t that have been the very first thing that he tried? Yeah this guy wasn’t very helpful and without Bo doing his thing I feel like Rex and the gang would have outsmarted him easily. Maybe they would have just dug up some blackmail or something. Meanwhile Rex is barely a character as he’s just a super antagonist here to make Bo’s life miserable. He takes the whole situation extremely personal so he just won’t back off. His crew is also thrilled to be doing this so there wasn’t any sympathetic moments to be had here.

What makes this film succeed is that it feels like a Batman movie but if an ordinary joe had to try and solve the case. Bo has no fancy gadgets or anything like that and he doesn’t have any connections. He has to pull this off on his own while not letting anyone get suspicious. It’s not easy in any setting but he pulls this off anyway and it makes for a fun ride. The first half can drag a bit as you wait for him to start making his move but once he does then everything really turns up.

Additionally I really liked the ending of the film. It’s one of those endings that you can take in a very light hearted way or a threatening way. It’s clear that nobody will be messing with Bo anymore if they know what is good for them but was he actively making a threat at the end or was he just having a little fun? It’s likely a mix but I would say the implied threat is absolutely there. He’ll take everything in stride as he always does but if anyone makes a wrong move then that is curtains.

Overall, This was a pretty fun film. You could easily figure this to be a comic book origin movie with how it plays out. The movie has a lot of tense scenes, light hearted moments, and most importantly a good script. The verbal battles between the characters are solid and the final plan is executed very well. There are a lot of clues to pick up on and nothing feels like it was thrown in at the last moment. I’d definitely be up for a sequel to this movie someday and in the meantime I’d recommend checking it out.

Overall 7/10


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