Zero Effect

{3.5/5} “But research is an art, not a science, because anyone who knows what they’re doing can find the crumbs, the wheres, whats, and whos. The art is in the whys: the ability to read between the crumbs, not to mix metaphors. For every event, there is a cause and effect. For every crime, a motive. And for every motive, a passion. The art of research is the ability to look at the details, and see the passion.”

Daryl Zero is a private investigator — he’s the best, and is therefore able to charge an absurdly high price. He’s also very eccentric — he never visits his clients, sending instead his assistant Steve Arlo. Zero is skilled at figuring things out from obscure clues. His current job is to figure out who’s blackmailing wealthy businessman Gregory Stark. Zero finds out who it is, but then he wants to know why.

Zero Effect was released in 1998.

Zero reminds me a bit of Sherlock Holmes but his quirks didn’t really make sense here. He uses disguises when he doesn’t need to and has an absurd amount of security on his house even though no one knows where he lives — this is probably supposed to be funny but just seems odd.

This movie didn’t really fulfill its potential. Certainly Pullman, Stiller, and the other actors are all fine. The premise is fine but the end result isn’t as interesting — or as funny — as it should have been.

It’s not a bad movie. There are some good parts, but a lot of it is just a bit boring.

If you want to see a better show about a man who solves crimes through careful observation, try any of the three current Sherlock Holmes incarnations — the movies with Robert Downey Jr., Sherlock, or Elementary.

Bill Pullman (Spaceballs) plays Zero and Ben Stiller (Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian) plays Arlo. Ryan O’Neal (Barry Lyndon) plays Stark and Kim Dickens (The Blind Side) plays Gloria.

The movie was directed by Jake Kasdan (Orange County).

This entry was posted on Friday, September 13th, 2013 at 10:01 pm and is filed under Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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