Projections - Movie Reviews

Zero Effect

Bill Pullman is Daryl Zero, an offbeat detective who says he uses objectivity and observation to solve cases. In reality, he has great powers of perception and a sidekick, Steve Arlo (Ben Stiller), who digs out any information Zero's insight misses.

Zero is close to a modern Sherlock Holmes with a computer and on-line service. He is not a physically active detective, but a whirlwind of mental activity spins throughout the film. Zero, like Holmes, appears to be involved with some kind of drug and generally stays in his apartment working with books and systems to solve the cases he takes.

Ryan O'Neal is the customer in this adventure who is paying black mail and whose safety deposit box key disappeared. The evidence is hidden in the box and someone else has the second key needed to access the damaging material. Zero is hired, despite his very high fee, because he is the best detective in the world.

Zero solves the mystery immediately, but the cause and effect must be resolved and they become the real challenge filled with twists and turns galore.

With a curious murder scene that has too many finger prints, a woman with red hair, an old man in a wheel chair, paramedics, a plan for revenge, a simple accident, keys lost in plain sight, and a missing tape, Zero Effect challenges the mind not the senses.

Pullman and Stiller are perfect and extraordinarily effective in their roles. Pullman again shows a gigantic range from film to film. Here, he is insecure while a moment later he's in full control of very complex and difficult situations.

The case of the lost keys moves slowly with very little action which may limit the audience, but for those who enjoy solid evidence-based detective films, Zero Effect gives 100%.

Zero Effect


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