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Suspect Zero (2004)
| Directed by:
New Mexico. A
psychic serial killer (Kingsley) is hunting down murderers, rapists and
child kidnappers…basically…the scum of the earth. It’s up to
Aspirin-chewing FBI Agent Thomas Mackelway (Eckhart) to crack the case and
put an end to all the madness.
all the negative word of yapper out on "Suspect Zero", I went in this ride
with Suspect Zero expectations (that’s me being "clever", by the way).
Thankfully, I caught myself getting stuck on this flick’s morbid web at
frame one and digging lots of it throughout.
Zero" was a visually driven film. I’ve
had a lot of friends tell me that the movie was incoherent and I still
don’t know what these dudes were smoking (I want some of it
though…hook me up!). The intricacies of the storyline were communicated
via images…does that make it unintelligible? Nope, it just means that you have
to stop staring at your neighbor’s crotch and pay attention to what’s
happening on screen. Personally, this baby’s “X-Files” on acid feel rubbed me the right way! How did I appreciate thee? Let me count the
delights! First and foremost,
Merhige’s sumptuous visual style hooked into my flesh deep and reeled me
in like the trout that I am. The striking New Mexico location and the
beautiful cinematography also contributed in making this flick a bright,
yet morbidly gorgeous, looking movie! I wouldn’t even have needed a story
with this one-- I could’ve just watched the striking images and shot
compositions for an hour and a half and called it a life. Yes, it looked
second sucker-punch thrown in my face was the film’s compelling ideas.
The investigation angle was gripping in its slew of maps, clues and
numbers, O'Ryan’s nature was fascinating, while the slick premise of
having a killer hunting down killers brought up many thought-provoking
themes. Furthermore, the fine casting on hand upped my involvement in the
picture with Eckhart and Kingsley, in particular, owning the scenery like
the champs that they are. Although his screen time was minimal, Kingsley
had a couple of standout scenes that had me grinning from ear to ear. Good
show! Lastly, I connected hardcore to the “fantasy” factor of the
flick. You see, the film deals with child kidnappings and other atrocities
that happen on a regular basis in our pathetic society. Those subjects
anger me more than smutty Larry Clark crap-fests! You bet, I was rooting
for the good guys to catch that piece of scum child-napper like a Lakers girl on 12 healthy lines of cocaine. KILL THAT F*CKER!!!!
"Suspect Zero" was definitely more interested in buttering our
shafts with hypnotizing style than delving as deep as it could within its
weighty substance. Aaron Eckhart’s emotional journey was slapdashed our
way-- so much more could’ve been done with him! Ben Kingsley's (O'Ryan)
character was too underdeveloped as well. That was the film's biggest shame
since O'Ryan mesmerized me. More on him psychologically and of him doing his
dirty deeds would’ve made the whole so much stronger.
Then there was the Carrie-Ann Moss subplot which wound up being fairly
useless. It felt like there was a big part missing from that narrative
line, a part that would’ve justified her presence and her drastic shift
in behavior towards the lead. Lastly, I could’ve gone without the “I
don’t buy it” FBI boss who’s always busting the hero’s balls. I've
this character way too many times in films of this ilk…I’ve had enough
of him…LOSE THE GUY!
in all, I came out of my "Suspect Zero" sit-down a fairly content genre
fan. Although not as fleshed out as it should’ve been, I found the film to be
an entrancing look into the evil that lies within men. Will you hunt down
Eckhart (Thomas) gave a solid performance, conveying a wide range of
emotion with his eyes and facial expressions. They should’ve given him
more to play with though. Carrie-Anne Moss (Fran) did fine, but her part
was pointless-- think "Scully light", but with nothing to do. Ben Kingsley (O’Ryan) nailed his role, managing to be scary and endearing at the same
time. His final speech tugged at my dead heart. Good shit, Benny!
get lots of cut off eyelids and carvings made in one’s chest.
reminiscing to a scene from “Where The Boys Aren’t 16: Dark
Angels” during the previews before the film…does that count?
bonkers and then some on this one! We
get ample arresting slow motion, trippy filters, quick cuts and super
stylistic angles. I heard he used an old Fisher-Price Pixelvision camera
for the psychic flashes…hey…it worked! What
a drop-dead beautiful movie!
Mansell (Pop Will Eat Itself) and John McCarthy delivered atmospheric and
somber ditties that upped the power of the film considerably. Good work,
audio/visual experience that was "Suspect Zero" tagged with its engrossing
enough premise and its bang-on cast made sure to make my watch go down
smoother than a Budweiser after a hard day of drinking. Granted, the
film’s meat was criminally undercooked and Carrie-Ann Moss’ character
had no business in this flick…but I still a good time.
Now if only I could track down child kidnappers/molesters in my
everyday life, I’d gladly slit their throats slowly one after the other,
after the other, after the other. A man can dream…
flick was shot on location in Albuquerque for $27 Million.
Cruise executive produced (uncredited) the film, which would explain the
presence of his leech cousin William Mapother (Born on the Fourth of July,
Magnolia, MI 2, Vanilla Sky, Minority Report).
the 2001 San Diego Comic Con, JoBlo and I had our picture taken with E.
Elias Merhige by one of his cronies. The thing is, we were so excited
about it, that we forgot to ask for our camera back. We went to the
"Lost and Found" department, but it wasn’t there. All that to
say, Elias...tell your buddy that I STILL want my fuckin' camera back!
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