Secret government projects, serial killers, the FBI and Carrie Ann Moss all add up to potential for Suspect Zero, but the movie fails to deliver on what is a promising plot.
Thomas Mackleway (Aaron Eckhart) is an FBI agent who winds up chasing ex-agent Benjamin O’Ryan (Ben Kingsley), who appears to be on a vigilante mission murdering serial killers. After 45 minutes of bad dialogue, the audience is made aware that O’Ryan was once part of a secret government project named Icarus, which trains agents to track down serial killers using mental projection to pinpoint their whereabouts and identities. The kind of mental strain required to do this drove the agents to death or institutionalization.
Although the plot seems to be solid and intriguing, several out-of-place subplots and the delivery of the entire film force the tempo down to a slow crawl.
The suspect zero theory, which asserts that it’s possible for a serial killer to go on an endless rampage without being profiled and caught, is one such subplot. O’Ryan, obsessed with the theory, is apparently chasing suspect zero, but the idea is unclear and unneeded.
As expected, Kingsley acted his part well. Harry Lennix brought the acting down a notch.
As for Eckhart, the easily forgettable actor has been in several big films, which include Any Given Sunday and Erin Brockovich — he definitely will not be remembered for this one. Although his acting is adequate, his delivery is overdramatic at times.
Curiously enough, one of the only bright spots in the film, besides Kingsley, is the score by Clint Mansell. Suspenseful and dramatic, it is enjoyable and perfectly timed to the action. And while the cinematography creatively explores camera angles and perspectives, the artistry does not save the film.
Suspect Zero fails to capture attention or entertain, despite featuring a seemingly seasoned cast.
And while the idea of a serial killer hunting serial killers may seem to be a brilliant idea for a suspense film, Suspect becomes exactly what its title predicts — a zero.