Zero Effect Reviews
I?m just not sure Bill Pullman was the right actor for the lead role in this movie. He is such a bland and monotone actor that I couldn?t connect with him as the oddball. Meanwhile his exasperated assistant is played by Ben Stiller, and even though I?m not that big of a Stiller fan, he?s on a different comedic plain. I genuinely think a simple swapping of roles would have made a world of difference in Zero Effect, because Pullman would be perfect as the straight man to Stiller?s wackiness. The other flaw in this casting is Kim Dickens, as a sort of femme fatale. I have never been a fan of her acting, and this role just reminded me why. In every single scene I felt like she was bored or annoyed. She is surprisingly flat and emotionless throughout, and it hurts the film particularly in the climax. But the shining star of the cast is Ryan O?Neal who is just amazing in his role.
Aside from the missteps by the casting director, I thought Zero Effect was a good film. The mystery was puzzling, and it was constructed in such a way that I didn?t always know what mystery they needed to solve. When all is revealed I was surprised, and didn?t figure it out ahead of time, which is rare for me since I watch so many TV detective shows. Speaking of which, this kind of felt like the pilot for a regular detective show, or like it was based on a series of detective novels. It laid some nice groundwork so that you could go on to show the continuing adventures of Daryl Zero. They even fit in a sort of origin story for the main character, which is handled smoothly in one conversation and some voice-over instead of making a whole movie about how he came to be this guy. I?d probably recommend Zero Effect to others, even though it wasn?t perfect, because it was simply a fun time.
You will find it hard not to be engaged by the end, but one can't help thinking that a combination of Stiller, Pullman & Jake Kasdan (Dewey Cox: Walk Hard) should have had you in stitches, but the poker-faced relationship between slightly spaced out Kim Dickens and Pullman will tug on the heart strings come the credits.
Nice first effort for the young Kasdan, but the gushing reviews here seem as if they sucked helium during the movie or something - okay first effort, no big deal overall.