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!
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
The sweat stains on Zero's shirt disappear suddenly while he talks to Arlo. See more »
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 ...
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Not crazy about Stiller or Pullman, but both were great in this movie.
The movie rides on this goofy charm from start to finish. In the past, I'd always been mildly turned off by Pullman. But he converted me here with a pitch perfect portrayal of such a strange character.
One thing I dig about this movie is that even though it follows the standard plot requirements of a detective mystery, everything comes across fresh. I was continually, completely fooled into believing these characters were not constrained by the requirements of the plot. I'm a sucker for mysteries, and used to settling into that mystery movie groove. I don't think it's a bad thing. But every now and then, one comes along that makes you forget there's a groove at all. And this is one of those.
On top of Pullman's 1st class perf. (I'm cracking a smile just thinking about it), Ryan O'Neal and Ben Stiller play to their strengths to great effect. I've never been huge fans of them, either. One of the reasons I chose to review this movie is that it took three actors I've never been incredibly fond of, and I loved it in spite of it. Loved them in spite of it.
Not to mention Kim Dickens, who is a revelation (she's gone onto a few other movies and a meaty role on the HBO series Deadwood). She's just excellent here. You can never figure out what's going on in her head.
If you love this movie, rent "Freaks and Geeks". The director, Jake Kasdan, directed several episodes of this classic, short-lived series.
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