|Not even a babe in nurse regalia|
will make this watchable.
Dir. Terry Gilliam
Starring: Christoph Waltz, Lucas Hedges, Mélanie Thierry, David Thewlis, Tilda Swinton, Matt Damon
Review By Greg Klymkiw
In a dystopian future (where and when else?), Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) is an eccentric mathematician who slaves in front of a computer for a faceless corporation. Joby (David Thewlis), his direct superior, sweetens the pot for the hairless-pated worker bee when he brings him a mission from Management (Matt Damon). Qohen has been assigned to crack The Zero Theorem, an equation which has broken and eluded the finest geniuses. It's no wonder, though, since the goal is to prove the ultimate mystery of the universe - that everything is meaningless. Plunking away at his computer in the privacy of a dank, old cathedral converted into his home and private work station, our hero is respectively assisted and distracted by a precocious teenage computer whiz (Lucas Hedges) and a hot babe (Mélanie Thierry). The latter seduces him, but he's only allowed to taste her ample wares within a virtual world. Ugh! Don't bogart the keyboard, bud.
The first twenty-minutes-or-so of this lame, pretentious final chapter in Gilliam's trilogy, which began with Brazil and sandwiched Twelve Monkeys is not without his trademark visual flourishes and some semblance of interest-level, but it soon descends into the kind of cerebral nonsense that plagues Gilliam's worst work and will only appeal to pseuds of the highest order. Not even a few blasts of the finest wacky tabakky is going to make this dull mess palatable for anyone but the most severely brain-damaged and/or those seeking enlightenment via Gilliam's masturbatory splooge in order to make themselves feel like they're smarter than those who could care less for this trifling nonsense.
The Zero Theorem enjoyed its Canadian Premiere at the 2014 FantAsia International Film Festival in Montreal and is now playing theatrically via Mongrel Media at The Royal Cinema in Toronto followed by a DVD release. If you're going to bother seeing this at all, you'll be better off seeing it theatrically. At least the big screen and big sound will offer some respite from the picture's numbing emptiness.
FILM CORNER STAR RATING: *1/2 One and a half stars.