ZeroZeroZero [7/10]

ZeroZeroZero” is a lavish, bleak mini saga of a massive smuggled cocaine deal, weaving between three equally nihilistic tales. In Monterrey, Mexico, a soldier (played with mesmerizing intensity by Harold Torres) involves his squad in a cartel assembling the drugs and shipping them to Italy. In Calabria, an aging, evil overlord (another stellar performance, by Adriano┬áChiaramida) spars with his aspiring grandson as they await the shipment. And the dealmakers in between are a Florida family (memorable acting by Andrea Riseborough, Gabriel Byrne, and Dane DeHaan). A study in evildoing, “ZeroZeroZero” is not for everyone; death stalks every scene and no lily-white hero leaps out. Instead, the eight equally gripping episodes cook ferociously, tension bubbling, amidst sumptuous cinematography and an industrial-brooding soundtrack. As someone endlessly baffled by and obsessed with humankind’s potential for darkness, I was held in thrall. Only at the end, when the three stories are played out and intersect, was I let down somewhat; the overall narrative arc seems to lack change and resolution. Be that as it may, “ZeroZeroZero” is compelling, black-hearted viewing.

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