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"Zen" Ratking (2011)

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Holds up until the end.

6/10
Author: Wirefan122 from United States
13 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have never read the Zen books so I just review the actual show. Moscati is out (heart attack) and Hueber is in. He is a sterile very unlikable sort who goes by the book (fairly typical 'boss').

The Miletti family is a huge beneficiary to the political bosses of Zen and when the patriarch is kidnapped they bring him into the case. Lots of twists and turns as I immediately assumed it was the son and daughter who had him kidnapped as they seemed to be the type who just wanted his money/power. Their lawyer gets killed in the opening scene while trying to deliver the ransom to the kidnappers. After all is said and done we find out who really killed the father and this is where I felt the story didn't end very believably. Zen confronts the killer couple and instead of shooting Zen (after they manage to disarm him), the male just shoots next to him into the wall! Supposedly he already killed the Miletti patriarch so why risk getting caught by letting the policeman live? Then (which is more unbelievable) they race off in their sports car and subsequently crash and die. Huh? If they had simply killed Zen (what's one more body?) then they could have leisurely drove off. Up until this point I genuinely enjoyed the show, though!

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Disappointing adaptation

5/10
Author: sagrat from United States
19 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a fan of the Aurelio Zen series of detective novels by Michael Dibdin. The voice in these captivating and compelling novels is fresh. Sadly, the BBC, which usually does a pretty good job with producing such crime and mystery dramas, really dropped the ball on this one, so it is no surprise that the series was canceled after only the first three episodes. Rufus Sewell tries to give us a sardonic Zen, but is lacking in the real zen of Zen - surprising to me, as he is one actor whom I usually quite enjoy. Also, for some reason the BBC decided to shift a large focus on to only one of Zen's love interests - and introduces her in this first tale ... yet she first appears in the second book in the Zen series and sticks around for only 3 more. Also, lots of "atmospheric" filler padding out the time, when more of the book could have been added to much better satisfaction. Disappointingly, what was so brilliantly done with Val McDermid's Tony Hill series did not make it to Michael Didbin's Aurelio Zen. Questions one might ask is why didn't/couldn't they find an English- speaking Italian actor, or an Italian-British actor, for the role of Zen? Why was Zen's mother cast as so young and sexy? Why did this seem more like a travelogue or vacation bureau promotion than a serious drama? I guess what I am really saying is this : Read the novels and get into the mind and Italian locations of Aurelio Zen yourself. One thing I did while reading these novels was to have my Google Earth booted up, so that I could virtually walk around the places Zen went ... and he gets around to many fascinating Italian cities.

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