Paparazzi [2004]

Looking for a movie in which the "good guy" gets away with murder? Then Paparazzi is just for you -- a critically maligned, morally repugnant yet primitively satisfying thriller in which a rising action star (Cole Hauser) gets revenge on the tabloid photographers who stalk him every day, ruining his private life and nearly killing his wife (Robin Tunney) and young son. Coproduced by Mel Gibson (who makes a cameo appearance, along with Vince Vaughn, Chris Rock, and Matthew McConaughey), this is precisely the kind of pulp that Gibson starred in during the '80s and '90s, and you can bet he relished the premise, in which the most ruthless celebrity shutterbug (Tom Sizemore, at his most despicable) becomes the victim of his own corrupted ethics. Hauser's father, the great B-movie villain Wings Hauser, made a career out of crap like this, and his son brings a kind of foul integrity to his leading-man role while Dennis Farina channels Columbo as a detective on the prowl. As exploitative potboilers go, Paparazzi may be sick, but at least it's entertaining. --Jeff Shannon

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