The Paperboy (2012)

Despite my aversion for Matthew McConaughey —the less I see of this guy, the better I feel— I watched The Paperboy anyway because it has Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman peeing on his face and genitals and I wanted to see what he did to deserve that. 

The story follows an idealistic reporter, Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey), who returns to his hometown when Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman) asks him to prove that Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack), the man she met via letters and whom she is in love with, on death row for the murder of a sheriff, is innocent, and drags his college-drop-out younger brother, Jack (Zac Efron), into the investigation.

It's not the first time I see a "let's prove this man is innocent before he's executed" story on screen, but The Paperboy sure knows how to stand out from the crowd as it's very different from anything I've seen before. Unfortunately, the story is rather confused, it feels dragged and, as it progresses, it becomes less and less interesting. Also, there are many pointless subplots that kind of get in the way and distract from the main storyline.

The characters aren't much better. They are quite contrived and bizarre, they lack characterization and development —the film is filled with one-dimensional caricatures—, and they are unlikeable and difficult if not impossible to sympathize with. I didn't even care about any of them, except for Efron's Jack, who sadly isn't much more than a horny young man, and yet you care about him because he's about the only innocent person in here. 

Despite this, the actors, at least some of them, still manage to do a very good job and make The Paperboy a little more bearable. Nicole Kidman is great as Charlotte Bless, an ageing bimbo/nymphomaniac/slut who has formed a relationship with a convicted man via letters, John Cusack is pretty creepy in the role of Hillary Van Wetten, the man on death row, and Zac Efron does a pretty good job as the innocent, inexperienced Jack. As for McConaughey, he is completely wooden. 

Millennium Films
The acting, however, is not enough to conceal how trashy The Paperboy is. It just deals with racial and sexual contents in a stupid, soap-opera-like way, and there are some scenes that are beyond uncomfortable to watch, and I'm not talking about Nicole Kidman peeing on Zac Efron, but Kidman tearing the crotch from her tights so that John Cusack could masturbate in front of everyone else.


  1. I loved the trashy atmosphere of this movie but yeah it is a huge mess. That scene with Kidman in prison was insane lol

    1. I was like "what the hell am I even watching" haha