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Zero Effect (1998)

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0:31 | Trailer
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!

Director:

Jake Kasdan

Writer:

Jake Kasdan
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Pullman ... Daryl Zero
Ben Stiller ... Steve Arlo
Ryan O'Neal ... Gregory Stark
Kim Dickens ... Gloria Sullivan
Angela Featherstone ... Jess
Hugh Ross Hugh Ross ... Bill
Sarah DeVincentis Sarah DeVincentis ... Daisy
Matt O'Toole ... Kragan Vincent
Michele Mariana Michele Mariana ... Maid
Robert Katims Robert Katims ... Gerald Auerbach
Tyrone Henry Tyrone Henry ... Staffer #1
Aleta Barthell Aleta Barthell ... Staffer #2
Tapp Watkins Tapp Watkins ... Firefighter
Wendy Westerwelle Wendy Westerwelle ... Motel Clerk
Lauren Hasson 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 January 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zero Effect See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$434,840, 1 February 1998

Gross USA:

$2,087,471

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,087,471
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 Zero and Gloria go to her apartment, the front door and its locks and doorknob are clearly shown. However, the chain lock for the door is missing the entire chain. 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 »


Soundtracks

Some Jingle Jangle Morning
Written and Performed by Mary Lou Lord
Courtesy of The Work Group
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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Emotionally Effective. 9/10
22 February 2001 | by zetesSee 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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