ZERO STARS/**** Image A Sound A Extras D
starring Cole Hauser, Robin Tunney, Dennis Farina, Tom Sizemore
screenplay by Forrest Smith
directed by Paul Abascal
by Walter Chaw Loathsome doesn't begin to describe it. How about "toxic"? View Paparazzi and producer Mel Gibson's own The Passion of the Christ together for a better perspective on where Gibson's coming from these days. Better, view the two together for some insight into the way that martyr complexes sometimes metastasize into a belief that feelings of rage and vengeance are justifiable responses to the indignities of a world whose sole focus is to torture the privileged with wealth, adoration, and extraordinarily high levels of creature comfort. Paparazzi are no angels, what with the recent spate of highly-publicized incidents culminating in the accusation that one of the adorable little shutterbugs slammed his car into Lindsay Lohan's in order for his compatriots to snap a few shots of the starlet vehicle-free. But rather than deal in a serious fashion with the toll the paparazzi take on any individual's right to a certain measure of personal space and safety, Paparazzi chooses to offer an unironic manifesto that forgives the vigilante-style abuse of Gibson's very own personal Sanhedrin. The film is suspect from the trailers, and its horrific morality grows more noxious with prolonged exposure.