Monday, March 26, 2007

Suspect Zero (2004)

Director E. Elias Merhige had everything he needed to make a great thriller: A great cast which included an Academy award winner and one other coming off a great franchise, plus funding from the state of New Mexico as an interest-free loan in return for part of the box office. The only thing he didn't have that he should've had was a good script that made sense.

Dallas FBI agent Tom Mackelway (Aaron Eckhart) investigates the murder of a traveling salesman, which turns out to be the first of three seemingly random killings. When the killings are revealed to be not random at all, the assignment consumes Mackelway, and he begins to think the suspect they're trailing (Ben Kingsley) is not exactly who or what he seems.

See? Even the summary was hard to write.

Ben Kingsley? Aaron Eckhart (later of Thank You for Smoking)? Carrie-Anne Moss (from the Matrix films)? I'm there....but then they lost me. All the actors are quite adequate in their jobs, and Kingsley is better than that, but the morass in which they act is incomprehensible.

The film has an interesting premise, and here I'm going to dump a spoiler on you: The original suspect, played by Kingsley, turns out to be trailing serial killers. So, he's a serial killer of serial killers. But along the way we have symbols that don't quite mean anything, visions that don't add up, and a hero (Eckhart) who definitely has his own issues. It's a confusing mess.

It's also a violent mess. The violence is beyond necessary, and the viewer could get really tired of seeing eyes of dead victims with the lids cut off. Over and over. Ick.

Pass this one up in a big way. Thumb's down.


Post a Comment

<< Home