SXSW Film Reviews
ZigZagD: David S. Goyer; with Sam Jones III, John Leguizamo, Wesley Snipes, Natasha Lyonne, Oliver Platt.
Narrative Feature Competition, World Premiere
David S. Goyer (screenwriter, Blade, Blade 2, The Puppet Masters) makes a wide U-turn from his earlier effects-dependent work in his directorial debut, ZigZag. Adapted by Goyer from the novel by Landon J. Napoleon, the film centers on the title character, an autistic 15-year-old boy whose life is both charmed and a minefield of humiliation and abuse. When ZigZag steals money to appease his drug-addict father (Snipes), youth worker and friend Dean Singer (Leguizamo) decides to help him covertly make amends, casting the two into a panorama of sordid characters and situations. Solid performances by Leguizamo, Snipes, and Platt (as ZigZag's boorish boss) buoy the film. Matching licks with the seasoned cast is newcomer Sam Jones III; his performance as ZigZag is exceptional and often endearing. While gaps in character development and story logic cause consternation, Goyer's first directorial effort is one he can be proud of. (3/14, MYEC, 7:30pm)