Arriving on the heels of several The Silence of the Lambs clones that littered the early 2000’s, Suspect Zero isn’t a bad film, it’s just not a particularly original one. It’s another grisly cat-and-mouse thriller where the good guy is the flip side of the same coin as the bad guy, and while they try to outdo each other, they have a kind of mutual respect for each other’s skill.

F.B.I. agent Thomas Mackelway (Aaron Eckhart), has been demoted from Dallas to the crook-catching “minors” in Albuquerque. He is assigned to investigate the murder of a traveling salesman, who it appears—thanks to a series of helpful faxes sent by the perpetrator—was murdered by former agent named Benjamin O’Ryan (Ben Kingsley).

The mysterious O’Ryan is part of a government program called “remote viewing, which allows individuals to psychically watch serial killers go about their lives and then sketch the scenes in charcoal. It appears that O’Ryan is now hunting serial killers in search of a “suspect zero”—a mythic murderer crisscrossing the United States killing hundreds.

Unfortunately, what might have been a novel twist is overcome by all too familiar tropes. There’s a boss (Harry Lennix) who doesn’t believe in unconventional agent could be right about what he suspects and further, that he would devote his life to finding on serial killer. This has been done more times than I care to remember and often with better results.

While Zak Penn and Billy Ray provide a passable screenplay, director E. Elias Merhige (Shadow of the Vampire) strips the piece of any uniqueness in favor of a strictly paint by numbers affair. Along the way he wastes a talented cast led by Aaron Eckhart and Ben Kingsley with supporting performances from Carrie-Anne Moss as Mackelway’s reluctant partner Fran Kulok and Harry Lennix as Thomas’s doubting boss.

Cited as a “Brand New HDR/Dolby Vision Master—From a 4K Scan of the 35mm Original Camera Negative,” Kino’s 4K disc offers a flawless image. The film’s many close-ups are tight and clean. A nice level of grain results in a filmic appearance. Textures are consistent throughout and blacks are inky. Colors are appropriate given the rather dreary look of the entire presentation. Free from scratches or debris and aided by HDR, this presentation is as good as they come.

Kino offers 5.1 Surround and Lossless 2.0 Stereo audio. Reviewing the 5.1 Surround track, the many spooks come alive throughout. Though we rarely see the violence, then surrounds heighten the atmosphere convincingly. The score by Clint Mansell (Moon) elevates the atmosphere. The dialogue is clean, clear and concise throughout.

English SDH subtitles are included.

The following extras are included on the 4K Blu-ray:

  • Audio commentary by Director E. Elias Merhige

The following extras are included on the Blu-ray:

  • Audio commentary by Director E. Elias Merhige
  • What We See When We Close Our Eyes: 4 Part Featurette (30:58)
  • Remote Viewing Demonstration (10:40)
  • Alternate Ending (0:58) with Optional Audio Commentary by Director E. Elias Merhige
  • Two TV Spots (0:53)
  • US Theatrical Trailer (2:14)
  • UK Theatrical Trailer (1:42)
Suspect Zero (2004)
3.6 Reviewer

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