Paranoia

I have enjoyed many movies that feature Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford, so I thought this 2013 movie must be quite good, though there’s also Liam Hemsworth.

Based on a novel by Joseph Finder, this is a high espionage thriller, something that I think plays out better on a moving screen than just words in a book. (I thought I was not not far off in this thought when technological terms like 3DPS data [not just GPS], encoding and design engineering were discussed a fair bit in the movie – I would most probably have skipped these parts or even give up reading altogether.)

27-year-old Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth) realises he can’t afford to pay his father, Frank’s (Richard Dreyfuss) medical bill of $40,000 because his company (Wyatt Corporation) has cancelled his medic plan. This is how he finds out that he has been fired, together with a few c0-workers. They decide to go clubbing instead of wallowing about their dismissal since they’ve been working so hard (in Adam’s case, 6 years) and still stuck at entry-level salary.

While clubbing, Adam finds a beauty and wakes up in her apartment the morning after. Leaving, he finds a ‘headhunter’ waiting for him. He is soon employed as a rival company, Eikon’s, newest executive and given a swanking new car, a luxurious apartment and all manner of perks. Later, it emerges that the beauty is Emma Jennings (Amber Heard), a graduate from Yale University now in charge of marketing at Eikon.

The Wyatt Coporation is headed by Nicholas Wyatt (Gary Oldman) and Eikon’s chief is  Jock Goddard (Harrison Ford). Wyatt is an angry and bitter man, and his rival is intimidating and arrogant. Adam is but an empty vessel made use of as a tool in the world of corporate espionage.

Of course the story ends with the two rivals being arrested by the FBI and Adam walking away from it all, returning to Brooklyn to reconnect with his father and getting Emma to join him at his new start-up company.

I don’t know what reading the book would have been like, but I think a story about technology and espionage is more interesting with all the stunts, special and visual effects (eg surveillance cameras, the world of cell phones, cyber attacks, hacking, tracking, social networks, identity thefts and fraud). That Oldman and Ford, masters of acting, take on important roles here is a bonus.

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