Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Vote Now: Jameson Empire Awards 2015
The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
The 2014 Christmas Gift Guide
Get 12 Issues For Only £25 Today
The perfect gift this Christmas
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
When Frodo Met Bilbo
Martin Freeman and Elijah Wood come together for Empire photoshoot
Exclusive: Colin Trevorrow Talks Jurassic World Trailer
“I’m comfortable going to Crazytown…”
Lake-town's Burning In New Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Pics
Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug takes flight
Kevin Bacon Is Off To A Jungle
For Greg McLean's new survival thriller
The Independence Day Sequel Is Greenlit
Fox makes it officially official
First Trailers For Unfinished Business
Vince Vaughn's European work trip
Natalie Portman In Talks For Steve Jobs Film
Danny Boyle is looking to bolster his cast
Dan Gilroy Adapting Storming Las Vegas
Nightcrawler man working on the script for Antoine Fuqua
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
14 November 2014
Christoph Waltz Linked To Bond 24
Could we have our villain?
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
17 July 2017
Tarzan
01 June 2016
In The Heart Of The Sea
13 March 2015
More Future Films

RELATED REVIEWS
Interstellar (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Lilting (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Zero Theorem (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Zero Theorem (2014)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Comic-Con 2013: The Zero Theorem Panel
Terry Gilliam is unleashed in a surreally beautiful looking new film

19 July 2013  |  Written by Helen O'Hara  

submit to reddit

The Zero Theorem

It's difficult to describe the sizzle reel of Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theorem without sounding a bit touched in the head. There's Christoph Waltz with a completely shaved head, living in a future that looks like Gilliam's Brazil if that society discovered neon in a big way. A flamboyantly-dressed and extraordinarily coiffed David Thewlis walks through an office that looks like a casino; French starlet Mélanie Thierry flounces through a series of fetishistic outfits and claims to enjoy nudity, prompting Waltz to run away in a hurry.

Matt Damon (Gilliam says he's not supposed to admit that Damon's in the film, but he's clearly onscreen) seems to be in charge; Tilda Swinton is terrifying and appears to be taking the role of psychologist; Ben Whishaw is stuck in a lab again, but now he's working with Peter Stormare.

It's dizzying, barmy and looks like Brazil crossed with Twelve Monkeys, with the visual flair of The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus expressed in a hyper-coloured, hyper-stylised way and lots of the lyricism of that ballroom sequence in The Fisher King. There's a repeated refrain of "Zero must equal 100 per cent", the idea that the sum of everything is nothing and a sense that the world is trying to drive our hero insane. It looks, in other words, like Terry Gilliam has succeeded in making a Terry Gilliam film in a way he hasn't done for years.

Introduced by a manic, panicked Gilliam - who claimed he was being held hostage by his producers while finishing the film, and was relying on the NSA to get his video message to us - we are promised that this film includes no superheroes or zombies, but that it does feature what Gilliam considers Christoph Waltz's best performance and a breakthrough for Thierry.

Then we got to see the opening ten minutes of the film. It began with what looked like a black hole, surounded by oil-slick colours and hiding lightning in its depths. We zoom out, and a hairless Waltz apparently floats in front of a screen, naked and defeated but about to start his day. He appears to live in an abandoned church, festooned with the pipes of Brazil, and steels himself before venturing into a loud, aggressive world where news channels are called DuMBC and ads loudly recruit for the Church Of Batman The Redeemer.

At his office, it's even worse; Matt Damon's stern visage stares down from a poster that says "Management has everything under control" while appalling slogans like "Arbeit macht Fun!" and "Corporations Sans Frontiers" twirl overhead. Waltz's work seems to involve pedalling maniacally on a stationary bike while playing video games, but he's very productive. That hasn't made him happy, however, and he's fighting for a disability assessment so that he can work from home. It's not a spoiler to say that he doesn't get all he wants.

The footage we saw was funny, gorgeous and seriously weird. Gilliam fans are going to be thrilled; he's back in his wheelhouse, but this doesn't feel like a retread for him. We can't wait to see more. Maybe Gilliam's producers were right to lock him up until it's done. The Zero Theorem is out late this year or early next, we hope, although there's no confirmed release date for the UK or US just yet.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Theatrical Trailer For Last Vegas Online
Grumpy Old Men Behaving Badly
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

6 issues for £20 plus free Gourmet Society Membership worth £69.95!
Get 6 months of Empire for just £20 and not only receive the world's greatest movie magazine and exclusive subscriber covers but you'll also receive up to 50% off restaurants nationwide and more with a free Gourmet Society Membership worth £64.99!Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Spoiler Podcast
Featuring the director, Francis Lawrence

Empire's Jurassic World Trailer Tour
Updated: Director Colin Trevorrow guides us through the first trailer

Vote Now: The Jameson Empire Awards 2015
Tell us your favourite films and stars of the year

The Gift Guide 2014: 50 Must-Have Items This Christmas
Box sets, hardware, clothing, books and stocking fillers to buy

Empire's Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies Covers
Five armies. Five covers. The eagles, dwarves, elves, men and orcs prepare for battle in our Peter Jackon guest-edited issue

Josh Hutcherson On The Hunger Games Phenomenon
'I've done my fair share of young adult material now'

What Is A Squidward? A Beginner's Guide To SpongeBob SquarePants
If you aren’t already a massive fan, prepare to become one

Subscribe to Empire magazine
6 issues for £20 plus free Gourmet Society Membership worth £69.95!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)