Combustible Celluloid
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With: Bill Pullman, Ben Stiller, Ryan O'Neal, Kim Dickens, Angela Featherstone, Hugh Ross, Sarah DeVincentis, Matt O'Toole
Written by: Jake Kasdan
Directed by: Jake Kasdan
MPAA Rating: R for language
Running Time: 116
Date: 01/30/1998

Zero Effect (1998)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Rooms with Clues

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

A new and bizarre twist on Sherlock Holmes and Watson, Zero Effect is a strange, funny and interesting murder mystery set in an entirely artificial world. Bill Pullman is Daryl Zero, the self-titled "world's greatest detective" and Ben Stiller is Steve Arlo, his reluctant assistant. Zero is a super-intelligent recluse, who eats bulk food and writes bad songs. Zero's theory is that only through detached observation can you notice things that others don't see. He refuses to meet with clients in person (Arlo does that). The duo begin to investigate a blackmail case that turns out to be much more. It's a great mystery, almost worthy of Holmes himself. The movie is written and directed by 22 year old Jake Kasdan, son of Lawrence Kasdan (whose own debut was the excellent crime film Body Heat). This is a strong debut, and a very fun movie.

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