Mel Gibson is back in the news with another controversial film. This time, though, he's not the director—he's the producer. (The film was directed by Paul Abascal, formerly a celebrity hair stylist.) And Paparazzi is about something quite different than a suffering savior. It's about a celebrity named Bo Laramie who gets so tired of the photographers following him around that he decides to start killing them—and becomes a hero. I'm not kidding.
The film, which includes a cameo appearance by Gibson himself, was concealed from critics until opening day, presumably because it is so bad that the studio did not want audiences to have a chance to hear the negative buzz before they bought opening day tickets. Thus, the film made it into fourth place at the weekend box office. But now the reviews are out, and sure enough, critics are disgusted with Paparazzi. Roger Moore (Orlando Sentinel) says, "[It's] a petulant, violent and sophomoric hissy fit about those nasty photographers who torment the rich and famous." Megan Lehmann (New York Post) sums up the film's message like this: "It's OK to murder celebrity photographers because they're amoral bottom-feeders." Dave Kehr (New York Times) calls it "[an] amazingly arrogant, immoral film." To scan more mainstream press reviews, click here.
Most religious press critics ignored the film.
Adam R. Holz (Plugged In) agrees that the film's central character is a glorified serial killer. "Bo doesn't kill these men in self-defense," Holz observes. "The murders are calculated and in cold blood. Thus, Bo becomes an increasingly problematic character, as he never exhibits any remorse for these actions. The film deliberately veers away from critiquing Bo's vigilante justice. The film's ...1
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