Zero Effect movie poster
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Zero Effect movie poster

Zero Effect Movie Review

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Bill Pullman is a know-it-all detective in Zero Effect, a movie which is about... a man who lost his keys. Of course, a story like that wouldn't make it to the big screen, so the keys have to do with some bigger things, including murder. Ben Stiller, Kim Dickens, and Ryan O'Neal also star in this witty comedy/mystery.

Up until depositing the movie in to my VCR, I had no idea what this movie was, what it was about, or if it was any good. The movie quickly throws us in to an office where Ben Stiller is trying to win a new client for Daryl Zero (Pullman), making him sound all nice and perfect, all the while intertwining scenes of Stiller sitting at a bar, complaining about Zero's horrible personality. The movie has an interesting approach to time. It is definitely not chronological, since several scenes with the same characters are going on at the same time. Furthermore, in tradition of Sherlock Holmes, Pullman goes over clues he found in a past tense perspective.

Strong performances came from every member of the cast and the help of a great script didn't hurt. There are a lot of witty one-liners that are anything but trite, and the characters, especially Pullman's, are quite original. Of course, we would have liked Pullman to tackle a case slightly larger than what he did; his job is to find this man's keys, although Pullman digs deeper to uncover some bad things. Still, the size of the problem is relatively small, but Zero Effect still manages to be a good movie.

Witty lines, great characters, and an interesting directorial approach makes Zero Effect a winner.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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