Movie review: 'Paparazzi'

1 star (out of 4)

"Paparazzi," the first movie Mel Gibson put his name and his face on after "The Passion of the Christ," is a petulant, violent and sophomoric hissy fit about those nasty photographers who torment the rich and famous.

This laughably heavy-handed and violent melodrama, which Gibson produced and in which he makes a cameo, is like photographing fish in a barrel. Who is going to take up for the creeps who land those topless shots of Fergie?

Cole Hauser stars as Bo Laramie, a newly crowned action star with a wife (Robin Tunney), a kid and a new world to cope with - of red carpets, insipid Entertainment Tonight interviews and camera flashes. He ends up in a vendetta with a crew of sleazy photogs headed by Tom Sizemore, and the script stumbles on from there.

First-time director Paul Abascal is an ex-hairdresser whose debut film wallows in melodramatic excesses - tense, shrieking music, spitting, sputtering villains and a hero who is right and righteous because, well, he's a celebrity. And even celebrities have vengeance fantasies.


Rating: One star. MPAA rating: PG-13 for intense violent sequences, sexual content and language. Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes.

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