IS IT GOOD?
In short, it’s got the killer combination of an excellent cast, a gripping story and a unique way of telling it. ZeroZeroZero has to jump across continents to tell that story and it’d be easy to leave its audience behind. But every location – from Mexico to Mali – exudes a strong sense of place, making the show a wild, immersive ride.
Riseborough (Birdman, Nocturnal Animals, The Death of Stalin) is terrific as the wilful Emma Lynwood. Byrne (The Usual Suspects, In Treatment) brings depth and pain to his role as her father. Chris is played by Dane DeHaan (who was once the Green Goblin to Andrew Garfield’s Spiderman). He has inherited a degenerative disease from his late mother and lives a quiet life of gardening and weed smoking until his sister calls him up. Never has a young man looked less prepared for a life of crime.
ZeroZeroZero is based on a book by Roberto Saviano, who has been living with police protection for 15 years since he published Gomorrah, a real-life mafia exposé that became an excellent and underseen TV series of the same name. ZeroZeroZero shares a crew with Gomorrah and both shows exude Armani production values.
Director Stefano Sollima (Sicario 2) gives the early episodes a rhythm all of their own. Milestone events in the journey of the chilli cans are shown and reshown from different perspectives – a neat way of telling the three families’ separate backstories. Some of those events are violent set pieces that showcase Sollima’s cinematic eye, his strong stomach and a talent for building suspense. His fine work is supported by a slow-burning soundtrack from Scottish post-rockers Mogwai that gives the show a special atmosphere.
WHO’S IT FOR?
International drug trade? The obvious comparison is with Narcos. Cool and menacing, ZeroZeroZero is a match for its Netflix rival. At a time when usual freedoms have been curtailed, it is also a way to travel the world – and in some style.
You’ve got until 24th April to watch ZeroZeroZero on Now TV. Check out the trailer here.