Paycheck (2003) – Cool Concept, Terrible Name

I got to imagine a lot goes into deciding a movie’s title. Right? First the writer comes up with it, then some producer has to approve it, then a legal team probably checks it out, and a marketing team has to give it it’s final approval. All these people had to come together to give this, pretty average movie, a terrible name. Why?

Paycheck (2003) is a Ben Affleck starring, James Wan directing, action movie based on a short story by science fiction legend Philip K. Dick. The movie is about a guy who takes a job for a big tech company where he works for them for three years on the condition that at the end of the three years his memory will be wiped and he’ll have no memory of what he did for them. That’s a pretty cool concept, the movie it’s self is pretty meh, but the concept is cool.

So they have this cool concept and slap on the title Paycheck. Because he gets paid a pay check? I guess? That’s like if they called Star Wars “space”. Like, yeah, space is a part of it, but… come on, we can do better then that. “The Paycheck” would’ve been better. Not by much, but still better. It’s just so lazy. I don’t know what a truly good title would be, but surly 2003 had some one they could pay to think of one.

And I hear you saying, the original Philip K. Dick short story was also called “Paycheck”, so it makes sense they’d keep the title. But does an obscure Dick story from 1951 really have that much name recognition in 2003? Does it really make that much sense to keep it? Also, by that logic, Blade Runner should’ve been called “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep”, and that’s just dumb.

And yes, it is a huge waste of time to be complaining about the dumb title of a dumb action movie from 2003. But, you read it, so, I guess we both didn’t have much to do today.

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