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Suspect Zero

Review by: 
Catwalk
Release Date: 
2004
Studio: 
Paramount
Genre: 
Thriller
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
1 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
1.78:1
Directed by: 
E. Elias Merhige
Cast: 
Aaron Eckhardt
Carrie-Anne Moss
Ben Kingsley
Movie: 
4
Extras: 
2
Bottom Line: 
4

Suspect Zero: the ultimate serial killer. If such a being exists, can he be stopped, can he be controlled or will every effort lead only to more death?

FBI agent Tom Mackelway (Aaron Eckhardt) has been recently transferred (read: demoted) a backwater field office in the desert of New Mexico. The local sheriff has called in a corpse and Mackelway is careful to tie together every clue he can. The dead man was left with lidless eyes and drawings of murder scenes.

Just hours later, Mackelway is hit with two surprises; another corpse and the appearance of his former flame. Agent Fran Kulok (Carrie-Anne Moss) is just as unhappy to see Tom as he is to see her. The pair soon tracks the bodies to a former special agent, trained by the government to get into the thoughts of killers. This special agent, Ben O’Ryan (Ben Kingsley), seems to have quite an interest in Mackelway and the murder victims he failed to bring to justice.

Mackelway is soon educated on O’Ryan’s theory – Suspect Zero; a serial killer without repetition or routine. With no pattern, the killer could go on forever without capture or defeat. Could O’Ryan have become so obsessed with this theory that he is Suspect Zero?

 As advertised, Academy Award winner Kingsley is masterful. Eckhardt is an exceptional protagonist, even when he’s forced to shelve the charm he flashed in The Dark Knight and Thank You for Smoking. Moss provides the steady supporting character she’s become known for in action-horror-suspense films.  Director E. Elias Merhige (Shadow of the Vampire) has all the talent he could ever want on the screen. His mix of shifting the world between what is seen by the characters and what they experience makes the story flow well.  The parting shot is as memorable a fadeout as the original Black Christmas.

Special features include a commentary track by Merhige, including an alternate ending. Merhige rightfully decides that the other ending was just too easy and represented the Hollywood, clean and accountable, finishing touch. The mystery with which Mackelway is left in the theatrical cut stands alone far better than this addition. Also included are a remote viewing demonstration (the methodology used by O’Ryan to track Suspect Zero), and a four-part featurette on What We See When We Close Our Eyes.

The Region Zero DVD is presented in English or French with Dolby 5.1 surround sound. Subtitles are available in English and Spanish. The film runs 99 minutes.
 

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