Zero Effect



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Time Out says

Daryl Zero (Pullman) may be the world's greatest, most expensive private detective, but in his personal life he's such a neurotic, unsophisticated mess that he employs a frontman, Steve Arlo (Stiller), to meet clients and generally serve as gofer. Inevitably, his demands strain Arlo's relationship with his lover Jess; not that Zero cares since he himself has no time for attachments - until, that is, an investigation into the blackmailing of Gregory Stark (O'Neal) leads him to suspect attractive, strangely sympathetic paramedic Gloria Sullivan (Dickens). The press notes for this, the first feature by Lawrence Kasdan's son Jake, claim it provides a fresh twist on the private eye genre; well, not if you see Zero, with his logic, erudition, eccentricity and emotional reticence, as a latter-day Holmes and Arlo as his Watson, in which case the sentimental education at the story's core echoes that in Billy Wilder's considerably more affecting The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. That said, Kasdan's is a very promising debut, its own dearth of feeling offset by able writing, engaging playing and a sure sense of pace.


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Release details

UK release:



116 mins

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