Comfortable and Furious

Paparazzi (2004)

Directed by Paul Abascal

Written by Forrest Smith


– Cole Hauser as Bo Laramie

– Robin Tunney as Abby Laramie

– Dennis Farina as Detective Burton

– Daniel Baldwin as Wendell Stokes

– Tom Hollander as Leonard Clark

– Kevin Gage as Kevin Rosner

– Tom Sizemore as Rex Harper

Paparazzi doesn’t fuck around. From it’s mercifully short eighty-minute runtime, to the second act being over and done with by the twenty-minute mark, to a healthy dose of fascism not seen since, oh I don’t know, Reagan, this movie is a “wham, bam, get the fuck out, bitch!” affair. Is Paparazzi good? No. Is it worth watching? Not really. Does Chris Rock play a pizza delivery guy? Yeah. Do Mel Gibson, and Mathew McConaughey and
Vince Vaughn all make cameos as themselves? Uh huh. Why are you reviewing this? I have no idea. Can you keep it short? Sure.

OK, so Cole Hauser stars as “Bo Laramie,” the new “it” guy in Hollywood. He’s from Montana and he’s got a dull wife and a duller kid and he really isn’t sure about his new life. He likes things simple, cause he’s from Montana, but he live in Malibu anyhow, the world’s most ridiculous city. We learn this via voiceover. Rex Harper (the always chewing up the scenery Tom Sizemore) is a paparazzi photographer who takes pictures of Bo’s kid.

Bo no like that. Bad paparazzi keeps taking pictures of kid, so Bo punch bad paparazzi in mouth. Whoops! Harper has a gang of other equally bad paparazzis hiding in van photographing and videotaping Bo punching (the gang includes the fat Baldwin brother and the dude who played Waingro in Heat!). This bad. Bo get in trouble. Have to go to “anger management” classes. This makes Bo more madder. “Grrr” say Bo. Though I should point out that the voiceover, Bo’s inner-narrative, the most cerebral part of the film, lasted all of one scene.

Bo refuse to apologize to Harper. Now Harper mad. He go, “Grrr Grrr!” Decide to ruin Bo’s life. We know this because of one the most preposterous monologues ever delivered on film. Harper say, “I am going to destroy your life and eat your soul. And I can’t wait to do that.” Using cars and cameras, Harper’s gang make Bo get in traffic accident.

Bo’s wife lose spleen and Bo’s kid go into coma. Bo now triple “Grrr!” mad. Bo accidentally kill Waingro. “Oops!” say Bo. But, Bo feel good. He then kills limey paparazzi but Bo make it look like suicide. Cops get suspicious. Bo no care. Bo like killing bad men who hurt family. Then Bo kill fat Baldwin brother with bat and Bo make it look like
Harper did it. Harper go jail. Bo smile and hug dull wife. Bo’s kid wake up from coma. Roll credits.

So, apparently Mel Gibson, Mr. Whips and Chains and Flayed Flesh himself, produced this film along with long time co-conspirator Bruce Davey, to show the world exactly what he thinks of paparazzi. The same paparazzi that made him famous enough to be able to bankroll his own private S&M snuff fairytale. Essentially, Paparazzi is the cinematic equivalent to hearing a mutli-millionaire bitch and moan about his troubled life. No one cares, dude.

Sure, they made these particular paparazzis particularly cruel, but they were also a little
silly and a lot un-fucking-believable. I mean, isn’t it legal to take pictures of people who won the gentic lottery? Way to villify the profession. I’m just shocked that old Mel didn’t work in some sort of Jewish-angle. Worse is the fact that while Bo’s family did get fucked up, none of them died, yet Bo murders three men with a smile on his face. It’s like a ringing endorsement of vigilanteism, yet without one speck of the sadness or rage that an Eastwood or a Bronson would display. I mean, Bronson had no choice in the matter; if did not end the lives of his fellow men, he had no purpose. And Eastwood was just plum crazy for killing. Hauser, kills, smiles–not smirks–and then looks confused before looking happy again. He kills because he wants us to know how hard life is when you are famous. Again, why the fuck would I be bothered by the tribulations of a movie star? In fact, where’s my camera…

Special Ruthless Reviews:

  • Did you like how they said Tom Sizemore’s chacarter was thirty-four-years-old: I’m still laughing, actually.
  • Would this film have made your year-end 10 Worst Films list if you had seen it earlier: In all likelyhood.
  • Was Robin Tunney the dullest actress you have ever seen in a leading roll: She’s up there with Penelope Ann Miller.
  • Does head cop Dennis Farina know exactly what is going on, but decide to let Bo get away with it because Bo is rich, famous and a property tax-payer in Malibu: Yup.
  • Did you like how it only took two minutes to get from Burbank to Malibu: Yup.
  • Didn’t Gibson and this asshole produce the movie fucking Bono wrote, Million Dollar Hotel: Yup.
  • Do you wish you would have known that before renting Paparazzi: Yup.
  • Anything else: I can say with certainty that there will not be a sequel.