Movie Review: The Zero Effect

Nope Stiller, this time I get to be the wacky one...

Elsa S. Customer suggests The Zero Effect (in Mystery/Thriller).  The film opens crisply, as the brisk, businesslike personal administrator (Ben Stiller) meets with a prospective client. It seems like a standard business meeting, but then the intriguing collides with the numbingly mundane; the administrator represents Daryl Zero, the world’s greatest detective, and the prospective client (Ryan O’Neal) needs the detective… to help him find his keys. Yup. As the story progresses, we learn that Daryl Zero (Bill Pullman in an unnerving but touching performance) really is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, with all Holmes’ often-overlooked flaws: brusque and off-putting, drug-addicted, occupied with his predilections and preferences to the point of obsession, and utterly unable to interact with women. The world’s greatest detective is a lunatic, a loser, a mess, and though the film is putatively focussed on a mystery, it revolves largely around the dynamic between this crazy genius and his assistant, upon whom he relies completely and whom he treats with scorn. This unassuming, off key film captures my favorite performances from both Stiller and Pullman, who manage to step outside their comfort zones: Stiller’s trademark rage is mostly contained, allowing him to simmer rather than boil, and Pullman’s Daryl Zero wavers between wild brashness and tightly wound neurosis, lending an enervating tension and humor to the whole film.

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Published in: on July 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] The Zero Effect Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Welcome!Welcome to our world!Why use RaveRants? Published in: […]


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