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Film: Zero Effect
1998 feature film starring Bill Pulman as Defective Detective Daryl Zero and Ben Stiller as The Watson Steve Arlo.

Daryl Zero, a brilliant but reclusive private eye, traditionally works from afar with assistant Steve Arlo as his representative in the field. Socially awkward and inept but extraordinarily confident in his deductive abilities, Zero keeps himself locked in his apartment where he composes awful songs on his guitar and subsists on a diet of tuna, Tab, pretzels, Campbell's soup, and amphetamines. Zero and Arlo are retained by Corrupt Corporate Executive Gregory Stark to investigate who is blackmailing him and stole his keys. Immediately, Zero is thrown into a quirky world of seduction, intrigue, comedy and double-crosses.

Pretty obviously based on the Sherlock Holmes story A Scandal In Bohemia, down to specific traits that Zero and Holmes share and the eventual resolution of the plot - almost everything in the film has a direct Holmes parallel - although where it doesn't swipe from Holmes, it's doing a Raymond Chandler riff. It's arguably one of the best Holmes adaptations out there, even if Pullman's a bit bland for the role. A hidden gem Cult Classic, and highly recommended for lovers of the mystery genre.

The character of Daryl Zero was brought back for a One-Episode Wonder television adaptation in 2002, though it was not picked up by the network.

This Work Shows Examples Of The Following Tropes:

Yesterday Was A LieMystery And Detective Films    
You've Got MailFilms of the 1990s8 MM

alternative title(s): Zero Effect
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