Written by Zak Penn and Billy Ray
Directed by E. Elias Merhige
Running Time: 1:47
for violent content, language
and some nudity.
As hard as I tried, I could find very little compelling about Suspect Zero.
F.B.I. Agent Thomas Mackelway has been demoted to a bureau branch in New Mexico for beating up a suspect. He is wracked by headaches and visions he can't explain. Almost immediately he is put into the middle of a case for a serial killer, known as Suspect Zero. In general, every serial killer has something that ties all of his kills together; keeping a piece of the deceased's clothing, a certain method or place for killing... but there is a theory that somewhere out there, there is a suspect zero - someone who kills in such random patterns without any rhyme or reason, that you'll never be able to find them. Could the person Mackelway is searching for be that suspect zero? Or could the serial killer he is tracking, be a good guy?
There are bad movies, and then there are bad movies. This was one of the latter. I seriously had no idea what the point of the whole thing was. They introduce this concept of 'remote viewing' where apparently people with the 'gift' can see thing that are happening or going to happen. I got to sit in on a roundtable interview with both Aaron Eckhart and Carrie-Anne Moss, and both of them said they believe in the concept. Although I suppose to promote the film, they'd kind of have to say that. Either way, whether you believe in the idea or not, the movie was rather boring. Which is sad considering the aformentioned cast members. Throw in Sir Ben Kingsley (as he apparently prefers to be referred to at all times) and you have a pretty decent cast for a pretty poorly planned movie.
The dialogue was rather cheesy throughout, which is not the fault of the actors of course, but it does make them sound bad. After his turn in Sexy Beast, it seems as if people want to cast Kingsley in a 'bad' role, which is nice and all, but he doesn't always feel the part. His character was scary enough, but his remote viewing capabilities didn't do anything for me. There was a whole thing about him listening to a cassette and then sketching what he saw. Then he'd go out and kill people who may or may not be innocent. I understand him being tormented by this ability and not being able to stop it. Except... he always listened to this cassette before he'd remote view. Why not trash the cassette? Maybe he would have just found something else to set himself off. Who knows. Aaron Eckhart is a likeable enough guy, but his character was so soft and underdeveloped that he had nothing to work with. And Carrie-Anne Moss had almost no role in the film at all. There was some undercurrent of a previous relationship between her and Eckhart's character, but that was about all she gave to the movie. I'm still trying to figure out what possessed her to take the role.
The movie looked like it was trying to be a cool, serial killer film with weird camera angles and the red, scratchy look the movie would take on during the remote viewing sequences. It didn't succeed in my opinion. It only made the movie look disjointed and didn't add anything to my enjoyment. I'm not sure what would have made me enjoy the movie, visually speaking. And the story was very weak, as if the writers thought that by simply introducing the concept of remote viewing would be enough to let the movie float along. Well unfortunately, that didn't happen. Instead the movie didn't have a strong enough storyline to hold it together, and the remote viewing just made everything more confusing and frankly, annoying. I'd like to see the three leads pair up for another movie sometime, just to make up for all of this. Maybe a nice romantic comedy where Eckhart chases after Moss, and Sir Ben plays her father. That would be fun.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I did not enjoy Suspect Zero. The actors are nice enough, but their characters did nothing for me. The story was nonsensical and more confusing and boring than anything else.