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Review: Suspect Zero (2004)

Suspect Zero (2004)

Directed by: E. Elias Merhige

Premise: A man (Ben Kingsley) trained by the FBI to hunt serial killers by reconstructing their fantasies begins to hunt the killers on his own.

What Works: Kingsley’s performance is very strong. The cinematography is very good and has been plotted out in such a way that it increases in its complexity as the characters begin to cross the line between criminal and cop.

What Doesn’t: The premise of the film has been seen before in Manhunter, Red Dragon, an overload of TV police procedurals, and especially Se7en, from which this film draws heavily in its tone, camerawork, plot, and style. Despite giving the story a clock element in the form of a kidnapped child, the film does not focus on this and fails to create a sense of urgency or suspense. There are also massive plot holes in the climax as characters appear out of nowhere and act inconsistent with their motivations.

Bottom Line: The film is a classic example of style over substance. Despite some strong acting, Suspect Zero cannot overcome the massive problems of its script. Give this one a pass and rent Se7en or Manhunter instead.

Episode: #17 (September 5, 2004)