The Paperboy is an American thriller that tells the story of an investigative reporter, Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) and his younger brother, Jack Jansen(Zac Efron) who investigate a local sheriff’s murder and get caught up in a middle of some dangerous business involving a vivacious woman who wishes to help (Nicole Kidman) and a death row criminal (John Cusack). The story’s told by the Jansen’s family maid, Anita (Macy Grey).
I remember the first time I watched The Paperboy I felt slightly overwhelmed by many scenes. It does not spare on sex scenes with Nicole letting out a loud moan or two, and not on violent ones either. This film is quite daring, to put it mildly, and doesn’t necessarily has a point in the end, but as I was told before, a good film doesn’t always need a point, it can simply tell a story. So I guess this is one of them story telling only kinda films. The cast is brilliantly assembled here, however submitted to a mediocre plot. It’s hard to ignore such a film when so many familiar faces appear in it. It seems promising, especially when including name like Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey and John Cusack. Nicole is a trashy Barbie doll using all of her sexual wiles, Matthew is an ambitious scarred reporter with truly truly bad skin, and John is a sweaty greasy psychopath on death row. All humanly flawed characters perfectly portrayed by Lee Daniels’ directorial talent. Efron takes a giant step away from his pretty boy teen image with this film. He gives away an entirely new side of his acting abilities and proves himself worthy next to the big players.
The Paperboy is a film that needs not to be taken for granted. It’s extremely surprising as the plot contains many twists and turns which compensate the fact that there’s no real point to the film. It’s no surprise that the film received mixed reviews among critics out there, and was known to be “Trashy and melodramatic” by Critics Consensus. I would say the plot is questionable but sometimes surprising, the cast is brilliant and the film is overall just OK.