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Film / Paparazzi

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Paparazzi is a 2004 action thriller produced by Mel Gibson and directed by Paul Abascal.

Bo (Cole Hauser), a new movie star in Hollywood, is hounded by persistent paparazzi photographers who repeatedly intrude on his private life. After his family is hurt in a car accident caused by the paparazzi, who proceed to milk his misery for their own gain, he sets out to get revenge.

This film provides examples of:

  • Author Tract: This is producer Mel Gibson's revenge fantasy on the paparazzi.
  • Big Bad: Rex Harper.
  • Dirty Cop: Detective Burton finds out about Bo's revenge plot on the paparazzo. Instead of busting Bo, he helps him by giving him the photographers' addresses and criminal records.
  • The Dragon: Wendell Stokes. He is a lot more ruthless than the other paparazzi in their campaign to ruin Bo's life.
  • Hate Sink: The film reads like some Hollywood actor's revenge fantasy, where the main character basically spends the latter half of the film committing numerous acts of vigilante murder against the paparazzi who crippled his wife and put his son in a coma in an accident. The only reason this is even remotely acceptable is because the film depicts all paparazzo as cackling supervillains who take perverse joy in ruining people's lives, to the point that even the police are secretly rooting for the killer.
  • Karma Houdini: Bo murders two people and tricks one into getting shot by the police, but nothing happens to him.
  • Made Out to Be a Jerkass: In a scene showcased in the trailer, one of the paparazzi's tricks to destroy Bo's life is to lure Bo into a fight by making threats towards his son, up to and including the promise to sell his picture, address, and schedule to pedophiles so he can be sexually targeted, refusing Bo's repeated requests to leave the boy alone until Bo snaps and punches him. At that point, the evil pap smiles and opens his arms, and a nearby van opens the door, with a bunch of other evil paps inside, taking photos like crazy. The next scene has Bo in court being sentenced to anger therapy, and then the therapist goes "you need to give face to your anger." Bo replies in Tranquil Fury "my anger has a face, doctor."
  • Paparazzi: The film is about an actor whose life is almost destroyed by evil paps who cause a car accident that land the actor's eight-year-old son in the hospital in intensive care, break into his home, harass and terrify the rest of his family, etc. He then spends the rest of the movie murdering all the paparazzi that wronged him.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Bo gets his revenge on the paparazzi by outright killing them (or getting them killed).
  • Ripped from the Headlines: A Hollywood actor goes on a shutterbug killing spree after they cause an accident that nearly killed his family, an obvious reference to the circumstances surrounding the death of Princess Diana.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: What Bo goes on in the movie.
  • Stupid Evil: The titular paparazzi are pretty much all cackling, over-the-top supervillains, but one in particular stands out: Kevin Rosner. After the quartet of paparazzi that serve as the film's villains cause a car wreck that cripples the celebrity protagonist's wife and puts his son in a coma, and then proceeds to hound the two for more photographs, the protagonist, Bo Laramie, gets in a motorcycle accident with Kevin that leaves him hanging off of a cliff overlooking a fatal drop onto a rocky shore. Despite all the crap they pulled, Bo is still willing to pull him up...until he starts bragging about how he's going to ruin his life even more with this accident. Three guesses as to what happens next.
  • Suicide by Cop: Bo stages one of these for Leonard Clark, one of the paparazzi, by planting a gun in his car and calling the police on him with a burner phone. When Leonard pulls out the gun in confusion, he's promptly shot.
  • Vigilante Man: Bo, and he goes to great lengths too.