Do you want to see Zac Efron in his underwear? If so then his 2012 film The Paperboy is the movie for you. Sure it has a bunch of drama revolving around the accusation of a man who may, or may not have killed a policeman, in addition to some odd indie moments, but let’s be honest: all those underwear shots are probably why you are watching it. Nonetheless, if for whatever reason you are watching the movie for something other than partial nudity, let’s try and expose those moments.
The plot is rather simple: Jack, an expelled college student who works for his father’s newspaper, joins his brother (after his release from prison) in trying to secure the release of a man who they think was wrongly imprisoned for murder. Along the way they encounter “an oversexed Barbie doll” and a sophisticated Black man with a British accent; add in deep southern prejudice and you got yourself a concoction of edgy moments!
No misstep was taken with the film. Not as far as I see. Truthfully, the strongest suit of the film happens to be its down to earth direction style and gritty plot. Never betraying the reality of the situation and of violent and extreme personalities, the story is almost told in vignettes; though solidly connected, the scenes tend to alternate between irrelevancy, tension, and blissful contentment in their atmosphere. This fusion manages to bring home the emotion and feel of the plot and character development. Accomplished by having each scene contribute something new to the plot in terms of style, the direction, though not as varied as it could be, successfully blends a variety of distinct strata into a cohesive whole.
So overall I liked The Paperboy. I thought the production values could have been higher and some of the events explained and foreshadowed more, so as to not provide as much confusion as when they do transpire (though I am sure the director may have done this on purpose precisely to create confusion); so my only fault is simply in some aspects not being as fully elaborated upon as they could have been. Even so such a fault does not infringe upon the experience as whole. Any fan of realist dramas (and Zac Efron) should find this film enjoyable.