Synopsis: Called to Rome to stop an imminent terrorist bombing, a soldier desperately seeks news of his imprisoned brother — a rebel with knowledge that could thwart the attack. Navigating the capital’s darkened streets, he races to a series of ominous encounters to keep the Vatican from being blown up.
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Cristina Chiriac, Phil Neilson, Anna Ferrara, Salvatore Ruocco, Valerio Mastandrea, Babak Karimi
Director: Abel Ferrara
Running Length: 85 minutes
TMMM Score: (1/10)
Review: I’m going to relay an anecdote to you and I wanted you to go with me on this journey. OK?
I only watched The Oprah Winfrey Show on a regular basis for its last season because, what can I say, I was simply a very late adopter when it came to the most popular talk show on the planet. During that last season I was watching an interview with The Judds, Naomi and Wynonna to be exact, and they were talking about their relationship and how they made it work. More than anything, when she was faced with a bad situation that was what it was but that she had some control over her participation in, Wynonna said that she had learned to say to a number of things in her life “That may be fine for you but that doesn’t work for me.” and then being willing to get up and leave that particular situation in the past. I think I had what Oprah would classify as an “A-Ha!” moment right then and there and I never looked back. I often use that phrase in times when I’m feeling cornered, step back, and recognize I actually do have more autonomy over my actions than I originally thought.
You get this lengthy look into my brain today for a few reasons. One, it makes this post that much longer because I have so little to say about director Abel Ferrara’s newest film Zeros and Ones that I had to think of something else to include in my write-up. I also needed to give you background into why I made it through all 85 minutes of this film (yes, you actually DO have to watch to the very end of this movie) and then said “That doesn’t work for me.” turned off my TV, and went directly to bed. Naming your film after the scores the movie will likely get is very prophetic on the part of Ferrara, so the longtime director with his fair share of hits and misses should be given a nice pat on the back and then a good kick in the pants for such a lazy and pointless endeavor that robs the viewer of their time and its star of not one but two good roles.
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood) appears as himself at the beginning and end of the movie for some inexplicable reason that he actually does try to explain (but doesn’t really) and only further confuses whatever narrative Ferrara is trying to chase in Zeros and Ones. Hawke then goes on to play twin brothers, one searching for the other in Rome shortly after a terrorist bomb targets the Vatican…or else he’s trying to prevent the Vatican from being blown up. Honestly, I never really understood what was going on because there’s so much of us just watching Hawke tool around the city as one brother or another either behind a mask (production was done during the early height of COVID) or in full crazy mode. The image you see on the poster is a Hawke that isn’t present in this film…false advertising, for shame!
One of the most famous songs The Judds recorded was ‘Love Can Build a Bridge’. Well, as it relates to Abel Ferrara’s Zeros and Ones, ‘Love Can Build a Bridge but Ferrara Can’t Make a Cohesive Movie’…and that doesn’t work for me, nor will it for you. So skippable, I was almost tempted to tell you off the bat to skip my review. Almost. Hope you stuck around!