|Index||7 reviews in total|
ZIGZAG is the story of an autistic 15-year-old boy named ZigZag, spelled
with two big Z's and two little G's (Sam Jones III) who steals money from
his boss (Oliver Platt) to provide rent for his abusive father (Wesley
Snipes), who uses the money to repay a loan shark (Luke
Writer David S. Goyer most known for his dark superhero films, such as
BLADE and THE CROW:CITY OF ANGELS, succeeds with this little drama which
a way is also about a superhero, only this superhero is a 15 year old
Young actor Sam Jones III absolutely made me fall in love with ZigZag. And
that's something I don't say lightly and something I don't ever remember
happening in recent years. I mean Sam Jones' performance in this film
away anything Russell Crowe did in the much-acclaimed BEAUITIFUL MIND and
a far better performance than what Crowe won for (GLADIATOR). Jones'
performance is flawless. While I know he won't even be considered come
time he should be the winner. Watch out for this kid. He can truly act. I
think he's on SMALLVILLE now but I'm not real sure because I never watch
John Leguizamo (MOULIN ROUGE; COLLATERAL DAMAGE), who usually comes off
rather annoying to me, also shines as Singer, the big brother character of
ZigZag.. The chemistry between Leguizamo and Jones is brilliant and lights
up the screen.
The other performances make stnd out as well. Oliver Platt (THE
MUSKETEERS; LIBERTY STANDS STILL) revels in a wonderfully rich and funny
supporting role. Natasha Lyonne (AMERICAN PIE 1 and 2) delivers a rich
performance as a hooker with a heart and Wesley Snipes (LIBERTY STANDS
STILL; BLADE) casts is beleivable as a crack-addicted abusive father. You
can tell that Snipes has either been around that sort of thing or has
experienced it for himself. He knows how to act and what he's doing. But
when it's all said and done, its Sam Jones III who is the heart and soul
the film, and ultimately why we care to see it unfold.
"ZigZag" is a very touching, beautiful story that is covered with heartache, fear and abuse. ZigZag is the main character in this film, he is a young autistic boy with an abusive, junkie father. ZigZag finds peace and a father figure in John Liguzamo's character who is his big brother. The realtionship between the two is a match made in heaven. Singer's shows ZigZag that life isn't all made up of fear, disapointment and abuse. He show's him the bright side of life. The film is very well done with strong performances by everyone in the film. I was very happy with Natasha Lyonne's performance as a prostitute with a soft heart. All in all, a great touching movie! ****/out of 5
This film premiered to a packed house in Narrative Feature competition at
By South West film festival in Austin on 3/10/2002. It was a
directorial debut by a David Goyer, a writer/director whose screenwriting
have given him a keen sense of story.
John Leguizamo shines as a "Big Brother" to the mildly retarded/autistic 15 year old "ZigZag" Fletcher, played with uncharacteristic maturity by young Sam Jones III. Their rich and mutually supportive multi-level relationship casts Leguizamo as brother, father, protector, social worker and buddy, extending even to a hilarious semi- paternal explanation of human development. Jones captures the internal dialogues of autism with a restrained, mostly tic-free performance, yet delivers a believable teen's view of the syndrome.
Oliver Platt revels in a wonderfully rich and funny supporting role, Natasha Lyonne delivers a rich performance as a hooker with a heart and Wesley Snipes casts a dark shadow indeed as a crack-addicted abusive father. But it is Sam Jones III who is the heart and soul of the film, and ultimately why we care to see it unfold. Goyer has made an impressive film indeed, richly characterized and genuinely moving, if a bit muddled in parts. But I was willing to forgive a bit of muddle for a chance to share the difficult lives of characters about whom I grew to genuinely care .
Zig Zag (Sam Jones III) is a fifteen years old autistic teenager, living
with his abusive father Fletcher (Wesley Snipes), who frequently beats him.
Fletcher charges him for a rent of US$ 200,00, otherwise he would be thrown
out of his home. Although working washing dishes in a restaurant, whose
owner Toad (Oliver Platt) humiliates him very often, Zig Zag does not have
the money and becomes worried with the situation. Zig Zag sees Toad opening
his safe, memorizes the combination and in the night he steals almost ten
thousand dollars. When he comes back home, Fletcher takes all the money from
him and uses it to repay a loan to the dangerous Cadillac Tom (Luke Goss).
Singer (John Leguizamo) is the best friend of Zig Zag and when knows what he
did, he decides to return the money to Toad's safe, otherwise Zig Zag would
be sent to a reformatory. However, Singer is very sick, having a terminal
cancer, and her uses the support of the prostitute Jenna (Natasha Lyonne) to
accomplish his intent. This movie is almost good, but something does not
work well in the story. The cast has a great performance, but the genre is
too corny for a drama, too slow for an adventure and too dramatic for a
comedy. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): `Conduta Ilegal' (`Illegal Behavior')
This is based on a book of the same name that is the first directorial effort of one of my personal favorites, David Goyer, the screenwriter of Dark City, Blade, and Blade II. The story of an autistic boy and those that are part of his life, it definitely isn't of the usual material he works with, but it still has his touch and was really enjoyable for a small drama. I hope he manages to get distribution for a wide release with this one, but there's no telling where that'll end up. We saw it as a premiere at SXSW 2002 in front of a general audience and it got a great response from the crowd for both the dramatic elements and the moments of humor. Also, again I noticed that Goyer was sitting across the aisle from us in the theater and looked like he really got a boost from the audience response. He deserved it. The acting was as good as his writing and John Leguizamo, Wesley Snipes, Sam Jones III, and Oliver Platt played their parts to perfection.
"Zigzag" tells of a benchmark time in the life of the title character, a mentally "different" black 15 year old innercity boy (Jones). An ambiguous tale with an underdeveloped centerpiece which is hard to get your head around, this gritty film is fraught with character exaggerations so extreme as to make for poor credibility. Nonetheless, for those who can make the huge leap of faith required to buy into this drama, there is a touching story of the best and the worst of humanity in counterpoise with a somewhat poetic narrative. "Zigzag" is a misfire which seems to have a clear purpose with a flawed execution. C+
Not a big fan of Jon Leguizamo, but I would have to say this is the best
I've seen him! Sam Jones plays Zig Zag, a sweet 15-year-old autistic boy,
dragged down by his abusive, drug using, loser of a father, played by
Snipes. Hard times hit for Zig Zag and he chooses to steal money from his
place of employment to appease his father, not good. In steps the "Big
Brother" Dean Singer, Jon L, to save the day, and he tries his
The story is great, the characters are great and I am now a big fan of Jon L!
8 * out 10!
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