ZERO CONTACT – Review by Susan Granger

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As an avid Anthony Hopkins fan, I’ll see any of his movies BUT here’s an oddity: Zero Contact.

Reportedly produced remotely in 17 different countries during the 2020 global pandemic, it’s intended to be a high-tech, sci-fi thriller.

Making his directing debut, producer Rick Dugdale focuses on widower Finley Hart (Hopkins) a mysterious billionaire who is, allegedly, dead from kidney failure. That doesn’t stop the tech entrepreneur from masterminding what passes for a plot by Cam Cannon (Deadlock).

From the netherworld, Finley is intent on reinstating something he left unfinished called the “Quantinuum Initiative,” involving teleportation before a global disaster occurs – which requires the use of a “machine that runs on a dark matter reactor.”

That precipitates a boring Hart Enterprises video conference call, involving Finley’s estranged son Sam (Chris Brochu), German lawyer Veronica (Veronica Ferres), Japanese innovation expert Riku (TJ Kayama), Board Chairman Hakan (Martin Stenmark) and a computer hacker (Aleks Gaunovic).

Each of Finley’s minions is supposed to input a secret code to activate the Quantinuum Initiative. But since they don’t understand what’s happening (nor do we), they’re somewhat reluctant. Rather predictably, there’s an uninvited, unwanted intruder who is up to no good. All of this Zoom-recorded derring-do is punctuated by a barrage of technobabble, signifying nothing.

Most disturbing of all, when the callers are placed ‘on-hold,’ we’re forced to repeatedly listen to “The Pina Colada Song”…that is, when the electronic score by Anders Niska and Klas Wahl isn’t providing distraction.

Anthony Hopkins always oozes charisma, inviting viewers into his Southern California home, where he delivers mind-melding monologues. He ruminates about art and science, in addition to playing one of his own musical compositions on the piano. But that’s not enough to save this cinematic waste of time.

Originally released as “the world’s first star-powered feature film NFT,” it’s unknown whether anyone ever purchased it.

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, “Zero Contact” musters a barely coherent, tedious 2, available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime, Vudu and Apple TV.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.