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Zero Effect (1998)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Drama  -  30 January 1998 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 11,658 users  
Reviews: 149 user | 79 critic

The world's greatest detective Daryl Zero aided by his associate Steve Arlo investigates a complex and mysterious case of blackmail and missing keys for shady tycoon Gregory Stark who is less than forthcoming about what is really happening!

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
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Sarah DeVincentis ...
...
Michele Mariana ...
Maid
Robert Katims ...
Tyrone Henry ...
Staffer #1
Aleta Barthell ...
Staffer #2
Tapp Watkins ...
Firefighter
Wendy Westerwelle ...
Motel Clerk
Lauren Hasson ...
Little Kid
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Storyline

Daryl Zero is a private investigator. Along with his assistant, Steve Arlo he solves impossible crimes and puzzles. Though a master investigator, when he is not working, Zero doesn't know what to do with himself. He has no social skills, writes bad music, and drives Arlo crazy. In his latest case, Zero must find out who is blackmailing a rich executive, and when his client won't tell him, why. The only problem with this case is Zero has done something he's never done before: got emotionally involved. Written by MartianWax

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The world's most private detective.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La méthode zéro  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$434,840 (USA) (30 January 1998)

Gross:

$1,980,338 (USA) (27 February 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The blackmailer uses a computer running OpenStep (NeXT OS) to type the blackmail letter. See more »

Goofs

When Arlo and Stark drive to the restaurant, they pass a Safeway store twice within a few seconds. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Steve Arlo: It's an uncompromising standard of his practice. He never meets any of his clients. He doesn't speak with them, or, for that matter, communicate in any direct fashion. That's his policy. But I am his sole representative and he is my only employer; and as such, I have full authorization to speak on his behalf on all his matters of business. I have with me a signed letter to that effect. He doesn't negotiate his fee. He works at a flat rate. Under some unusual circumstances, he'll ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Bottom Line
Written by Paul DeLay
Performed by The Paul DeLay Band
Courtesy of Evidence Music
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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Emotionally Effective. 9/10
22 February 2001 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

A lot can be said about the superb writing that this film contains. It is also very well acted. But one thing that has always shocked me is just how emotionally involving it is. Darryl Zero's budding relationship with the woman, Kim Dickens, is so well written and acted that I believed every moment of it. Kim Dickens' character goes through some very difficult situations, and they all work. Ben Stiller's problems ring true, also. And I'd like to point out that his girlfriend is the woman Bruce Campbell has to defend in S-Mart at the end of Army of Darkness.

There are only a couple of criticisms I have of the film. The first ten or fifteen minutes seem to contain an entirely different style of comedy than the rest of the film. With Darryl Zero's horrendous guitar stylings and fridge full of TAB and tuna, I expected it to be an off-the-wall comedy or spoof of a detective film or something. The first time I saw the film, I was told how funny it was, and after I saw the ridiculous first ten minutes or so, I was constantly expecting the film to use slapstick and other such jokes. The film is funny, but if you go in expecting a comedy, or only a comedy, anyways, you're going to miss the emotional cues. Also, some of the discoveries and some of the trivia that Darryl Zero exhibits is a bit ridiculous. I mean, Sherlock Holmes, who was actually based on a real person, a college professor at Oxford, I believe, had amazing powers of deduction, but not even he could guess which bus Kim Dickens was going to tell her victim to get on. And I would also think that someone who does have the abilities that Darryl Zero supposedly has would never make up a job and tell that to one person, and forget that job and make a new one to give to someone else who frequents the same place as the first one!


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