Hot on the blood-stained heels of The Punisher, Man On Fire and Kill Bill comes Paparazzi, another lurid revenge fantasy, in which a persecuted movie star hunts down the nasty shutterbugs that are making his life a misery. Directed by Paul Abascal - Mel Gibson's former hair-stylist! - its flimsy plot rests on the ludicrous notion that an actor should be entitled to slaughter anyone who invades his privacy. Sadistic in the extreme and lacking any form of moral compass, it's the kind of film only the likes of OJ Simpson could love.
Lantern-jawed Cole Hauser plays Bo Laramie, a hotter-than-hot hunk who has shot to fame with a Lethal Weapon-style actioner called Adrenalin Force. All of which makes him fair game for Rex Harper (Tom Sizemore), an eeeevil paparazzo who stalks the great and good with his sleazy gang of snappers. ("I'm going to destroy your life and eat your soul," he sneers with malicious glee. "And I can't wait to do it!")
"PAPARAZZI'S IN A WARPED UNIVERSE"
Matters come to a head when Bo's wife (Robin Tunney) and young son are nearly killed in a car crash caused by Harper's dangerous driving. (Just one of the movie's despicable allusions to Princess Diana.) So our hero does what a man's gotta do: namely, turn the tables on his predators by arranging a series of fatal "accidents".
In Paparazzi's warped universe, it's perfectly acceptable for a film star to beat a man to death with a baseball bat. Not only that, but the police let him get away with it. A superior craftsman - Robert Altman, perhaps - might have used the story to satirise the way fame excuses a myriad of sins. Not Abascal, however, who does not let the slightest twinge of guilt impede Hauser's vendetta - a crusade apparently endorsed by the sundry stars (Vince Vaughn, Chris Rock) wheeled in to provide self-congratulatory cameos.