5 Theatrical trailer - Suspect Zero, Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid, Closer, Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse, The Forgotten
Dolby Digital trailer
Lakeshore Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment .
R4 . COLOR . 95 mins .
M15+ . PAL
Breakfast of Champions!
Suspect Zero is one of those films that spends it's life schlepping around from studio to studio spending years in limbo with certain big name actors or directors attached to it. In 1997, it was finally acquired by Universal Studios with Tom Cruise initially attached to the project then leaving it to take on a producing credit instead. The film has since been re-drafted over the years to what we have here: a serial killer thriller with an X Files twist thrown in.
Thomas Mackelway (Aaron Eckhart) is a burnt out FBI detective that has been demoted to a branch in New Mexico due to his vigilante apprehension of a serial killer. He is your typical hard-boiled crime fighter who regularly crunches down aspirin like they are tic-tacs. To say his character is a stereotype would be an understatement! Upon his arrival in New Mexico he is given the assignment of tracking down a killer that leaves a mysterious calling card on his victims by carving a zero with a slash through it on them. Not only that, he is also teamed up with his ex-wife Fran (Carrie-Anne Moss) to help catch the killer. A far-fetched and totally redundant sub-plot in my opinion. These two just don't work on screen, and Carrie looks suitably ho-hum throughout.
As the case progresses they become acutely aware that the suspect they are seeking may actually be helping them out instead. It turns out the victims are in fact serial killers. Don't worry I haven't given anything away, as this is spelled out very clearly early on. What is unclear is how this person is finding these killers ahead of the FBI, and why is Mackelway being sent faxes pertaining to missing persons. Enter O’Ryan played by Ben Kingsley, who hints to Mackelway through these faxes that there may be a killer cruising around the countryside killing indiscriminately without motive; A Suspect Zero.
It seems that O’Ryan is blessed or cursed with the ability to see into the near future via a psychic process called "Remote Viewing". This is where the film deviates from the usual cat & mouse killer taunting cop fare, with Mackelway intent on finding this freelance psychic vigilante and uncovering the truth behind his grizzly talent.
The video is presented at a ratio of 1.78:1, 16:9 enhanced. The film has been post-processed to leave a very stylised look. The colour has been washed out rendering a muted colour palette in the vein of Se7en. Black levels are very deep and show a very inky quality. Grain is a major part of the films look and is present throughout. Sharpness detail is also excellent; overall the good people at the Sony DVD Compression Centre have provided a superb transfer.
The feature is accompanied by a Dolby Digital 5.1 track that is very immersive. Plenty of information is sent to the surrounds reinforcing the score, and adding to the ambience superbly. There are plenty of directional cues throughout the feature with pans from front to rear, and split usage of the surrounds. The subwoofer hums along nicely, not really letting loose at all. Dialogue was clear at all times, which is a must for a film that is pretty much dialogue driven. This isn't a soundtrack that will blow you away or give your system a workout by any means.
Neo? Is that you?
Unfortunately it seems that when they were mastering our disc for region 4 someone must have been asleep at the wheel and has left off the extras that can be found on the region 1 version. Missing is a commentary by the director, deleted scenes, and number of behind the scenes docos. All we are granted is a trailer for the film itself, and trailers for Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid, Closer, Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse, & The Forgotten.
Suspect Zero is a decent film and is definitely worth a rental. The ever reliable Ben Kingsley is excellent to watch and is suitable creepy in his role. If you’re a fan of his work in Sexy Beast and The House of Sand & Fog you'll appreciate the intensity of his performance here. Presented with a stellar video transfer and serviceable audio Suspect Zero is an enjoyable twist on the familiar serial killer genre.