Top positive review
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Your Eyes Will Zig-Zag Open
on January 2, 2005
I loved this movie from the first time I viewed it. I only wish it would have gotten the recognition it deserved. Too many people have probably missed out on this great flick, and I was lucky to have had it catch my eye at a video store one day. I'm glad I took a chance on it. Granted, it has some raunchy parts and it was disturbing at times, but through all this comes a pretty good story with some touching and insightful moments. It is a film that is well worth a watch and you will not be bored with it. It's intense, powerful and moving.
We enter the world of a autistic 15 year-old boy who goes by the name of "Zig Zag" (played fantastically by Sam Jones III). He is a young man who deals with life by talking in his head most of the time and "hiding his thoughts where nobody else can see them." Even those with disabilities have their strong areas, and Zig Zag's strength is memorizing numbers. It is an eye-opening look into how he views the world.
Wesley Snipes plays a sensational role as David "Fletcher," Zig Zag's angry, fast-talking, abusive, drug thug of a father. Desperate for drug cash, Fletcher threatens to kick Zig Zag out on the street if he does not pay him the apartment rent. A scared Zig Zag takes off to his part-time job where he works as a restaurant dishwasher for his booze-chugging, cigar-smoking, prostitute-craving, arrogant boss they call "Toad" (played nicely by Oliver Platt). Though the workers in the kitchen tease Zig Zag and Toad thinks Zig Zag is a bit dumb, Toad actually has a feeling that Zig Zag is not as dumb as he seems; especially when he catches Zig Zag staring at him as he is opening the safe in his office.
After Zig Zag breaks into Toad's safe and steals all the money, he brings it back to his father who greedily snatches the cash from him and tells him to bring back more. Enter Zig Zag's cancer-stricken "Big Brother" Dean Singer (a magnificant performance by John Leguizamo). After Singer finds out that Zig Zag stole money from Toad, he becomes determined to find a way to help Zig Zag get through the mess he's created and keep him out of harm and trouble; from his father, his boss and the authorities. In the meantime, an investigation is getting underway as to who stole the money from the safe.
While Zig Zag stays with Singer, they enjoy the pleasures of friendship from guitar music, to taking goofy pictures of one another, to chowing on fast food. Zig Zag is free to watch morning cartoons with his cereal and Singer gets the chore of teaching Zig Zag about the birds and the bees. But through all their times of friendship, they must find a way to return the money back secretley to the safe. It is a journey that leads them to a strip joint called the "Monkey Cage," (which involves an intense meeting between Singer and "Monkey Cage" owner, "Cadillac" Tom played by Luke Goss), a plan of action as to how Zig Zag will survive grilling by the investigators, and a heated confrontation with Fletcher.
Along the way, Zig Zag meets up with a kind hearted prostitute named Jenna (played nicely by Natasha Lyonne)who takes Zig Zag under her wing and takes him to a diner for some waffles and a very moving conversation. Later on, Jenna ends up taking care of Zig Zag while Singer is away, and they end up getting caught in a thrilling situation with Fletcher. Jenna is also there to lend support when Singer's cancer gets the best of him and he ends up in the hospital after collapsing. Unfortunately, Singer eventually passes away, but not before an intense conclusion to their problem unfolds.
"Zig Zag" is superb and the acting is very realistic. It's a story about friendship, trust, and getting through the tough times in life through the eyes of a young kid with disabilities. This was a very enjoyable and interesting movie; I bought it not long after I rented it, and I'm now pleased to own it for myself. If you like action-drama that is moving, keeps you on the edge of your seat and your eyes glued to the screen, and you don't mind some raunchy parts, I'd definitely check it out. You won't be disappointed.