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Suspect ZeroSuspect Zero

Starring: Ben Kingsley, Aaron Eckhart and Carrie Anne Moss
Directed by: E. Elias Merhige
Cast Films @ Amazon DVD


Bluntly speaking? Suspect Zero reminds me of what my wise-old-grandma use to say around a roaring campfire while introducing one of her yarns of the yawn, "Here's a tale of when mediocre movies happen to mega-talented talents..."

No amount of footloose camera and film exposure tricks (I.E. Exec. Producer: "Maybe if we jostle the camera around wildly, and ad a bazillion snazzy celluloid effects, no one will notice there's no real script?") could have save this why'd-they-bother filmatic faux pas.

Story goes…FBI man, Tom Mackelway (Aaron Eckhart) has been demoted for doing less-than by-the-book agenty type law enforcement. He's starting over in a new wing of the bureau - the kind without his own office and a flutter with the worker bee sorts.

Poor Tom's also perpetually suffering from these maddening headaches which come with monochromic video-short-visions that could be construed as a tad (read: completely) insane…

Not one to let a silly migraine, with horrific visuals, stop him from earning his day's wages, he eagerly jumps into his first assignment.

It involves a particularly lunatic themed serial killer that leaves behind a logo of sorts (a circle with a line through it) and odd charcoal on paper sketches (of really ominous slices-of-life) attached to the "victim."

This new on-the-radar killer starts to correspond with Tom - let's say he drop hints.

Enter Mackelway's old partner, and apparent flame, Agent Fran Kulock (Carrie Anne Moss). As the two start on a journey of well-laid breadcrumbs left by the killer, they also have one of the stoo-pidist "love affairs" on film to date. I checked - yes the script was penned by a man…no doubt a bitter, perhaps, inexperienced man; 'cause this chick sways her emotional facade without thought or development - it's not unlike a GW Bush smear campaign de Jour in essence…

Then in a bold, kind of "HELLO TOM!" attached to his latest victim (a "victim" who turns out to be a notorious serial killer himself as well as coincidentally the man who is behind Mackelway's whole bureau demotion), the FBI starts to look a little closer at what it all could mean. Tom at least.

The number one suspect in these brutal rash of killings, a guy called O'Ryan (Ben Kingsley), may or may not be an actual " bad guy." Oh, sure he murders, but his victims are not card holding members of the upright citizens brigade. No siree Bob.

Things start to get creepy…well, creepyish. Like PAXTV scary - but with a better cast .

Amongst the dullery is Aaron Eckhart looking mighty fine all agented up…purr. His character is well beneath his talents, so you'll wanna focus on the yumness of his being. The Tao of Aaron. Aar's a guy I wouldn't mind rubbin' down in mesquite flavoring and marinating in heart fires of my lusty loins.

Ben Kingsley is just a delight - as always. This man's a chameleon of characters and here he's bone-chilling...if only they explored him more.

Carrie Anne Moss' character seems "placed" so they have a chick in a role; she is neither important nor particularly interesting.

The story is messy, incomplete, predictable and never manages to engage your thoughts or get the hair on the back of your neck erect. Admittedly the scariest part of the film was not the flaming lidless eyeballs, or the piercing glare Kingsley mastered, it was the continuing under lying reminder that these horrible abductions and murders exist beyond the theater walls.

As the film bludgeons its way to the plot you are reminded of the old theater adage, "That's all there is…there isn't any more," as the credits role and your head aches a bit from the kinetic montage crappski you just wallowed through. Yech.

Snack recommendation: A coupla Dramamine and a Burger King hamburger with pickles

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