The Zeros

"Very Good"

The Zeros Review


A wry and independent black comedy, The Zeros turns the road trip inside out with a funny -- yet ultimately bleak -- look at a young man facing impending death in a not-so-distant dystopia.

Mackenzie Astin (The Last Days of Disco) stars as Joe, who is told by his rather flippant doctor he has a matter of days or weeks to live. A despondent Joe throws caution to the wind and figures he'll go on a cross-country trip of self-discovery, ostensibly in search of his childhood friend Joyce (Jennifer Morrison).

Rest assured that the charm of The Zeros isn't ferreted away in my pathetic attempt at a plot description. Rather, as the saying goes, the fun is in getting there. Joe's trip takes him to a nursing home, a roadside cult, a circus, a Texas millionaire's personal playground, and most outrageously, a karaoke-strip-club-roller-disco. Sure, there's not much sense of direction in all of this, but it's an awfully good time.

Writer/director John Ryman fills the film was clever touches of black and devilishly funny comedy -- from the millionaire's habit of blowing up cows for sport to a friend he meets who wears an eye patch because it makes "the ladies" feel sorry for him. His sick and too-near future is also cleverly created from modern day trappings given a sadistic twist. It's just too bad the narrative that holds these outrageous moments and settings together is so wafer thin (and ultimately bogs down the last act of the film with too many saccharine histrionics). Still, while The Zeros peters out in its dying breaths, it's a worthwhile picture in an era of lackluster independent film.

Shot on Super 16 and premiering at the 2001 SXSW film festival, Ryman's film shows great professionalism in its production, from the cinematography to the acting, ultimately belying its low budget reality. The sound design is unfortunately off, but it doesn't detract too much from the wackiness before your eyes. And I mean that in a good way.

Well those definitely aren't zeros.



The Zeros

Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 10th March 2001

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.