Zed, an American vault-cracking specialist, has just arrived in Paris. After spending the night with Zoe, a call girl, he is summoned by an old friend, Eric, to help raid the only bank in Paris that is open on Bastille day. The night before the planned heist, Zed and Eric spend a night on the town with a group of dangerous and slimy friends. Full on debauchery the night before the robbery is only the beginning of the end for this ill-advised plan, with poor planning, heroin abuse, and Zoe, who works at the bank, adding up to create a series of events that ensures a bloody and unsuccessful heist. There is no denying that Roger Avary's Killing Zoe draws heavily from Tarantino's style, with heavy use of ultra-violence and stylized photography. The problem with Killing Zoe is that much of the style serves little to no purpose, with the film lacking much substance or reasoning to make these decisions. The best example of this would be an early scene of intimacy between Zoe and Zed where Avary intercuts shots of Nosferatu into the sequence in a way that can only be described as hilariously nonsensical and pretentious as hell. As a matter of fact, the whole relationship between Zoe and Zed feels incredibly rushed. Julie Delpy's character feels almost completely worthless, serving no purpose at all through most of the film. I think the bigger problem with this lies in the fact that Zed and Zoe's relationship isn't developed enough. The audience is supposed to buy this instant connection between the two but it's a little hard to believe considering the circumstances of their first encounter. The production design of the bank is one of the better artistic decisions of the film, using an over-abundance of red walls that perfectly foreshadow the violence and death that will come. Above everything else, Jean-Hugues Anglade is the high point of the entire film, giving the psychotic Eric a great dynamic presence that commands the audiences attention nearly every time he is on screen. It may be unfair to call Roger Avary's Killing Zoe a complete retread of Tarantino's aesthetic and style considering this is what Tarantino does himself, but Killing Zoe is by-and-large just uninteresting, unmotivated, and style over substance
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