Killing Zoe (1994) Directed by Roger Avary
a jpoc movie review
A very entertaining action movie that almost aspired to more.
Main Cast
Eric Stoltz Zed
Julie Delpy Zoe
Jean-Hugues Anglade Eric
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Rating and viewing notes
Five out of ten.
Another tape from the bargain bin at the airport.
The jpoc review
Killing Zoe (1994) is first and foremost, a standard bank robbery action picture but it attempts to add in comment about the way that a death sentence from AIDS breeds a destructive nihilism in one of its victims. But in truth the film works best when seen just as an action picture.

Eric Stoltz plays Zed, an American safe cracker invited to Paris by his old childhood friend Eric (Jean-Hugues Anglade) for a heist. On arrival, Zed takes up a cab driver's recommendation for a call girl and thus he meets Zoe (Julie Delpy) They enjoy their few hours together and exchange compliments but before they explore whether or not this is just politeness, they are very rudely interrupted by Eric who wants Zed to come and get ready for the job.

Zed is very happy to see his old friend but he is somewhat surprised at his manner. Eric is dying from AIDS and is living every moment to extremes. Drugs and violence excite Eric and this raises a question about his motivation for the bank raid. Is he planning the robbery for money which he will never live to spend or just for the thrill of the crime itself?

After a night of drugs and booze the gang gets down to business and hits the bank. While Zed gets on with the safe, Eric and his gang go wild and soon there are bullets and corpses galore and the police arrive to lay siege to the bank, gang and few remaining hostages.

In the midst of all this, Zed and Eric discover that Zoe's day job is at the bank.

As a hold up movie, with lots of action this film is good entertainment. The only weakness is the slow night before the heist when everyone is getting stoned. We see hints of Eric's world view but nothing is really explored. Eric is dying and nobody can threaten him with anything worse than his HIV death sentence but this is barely touched upon. The same must be said for the relationship between Zed and Zoe. There could have been much more here and Delpy acts wonderfully well with the limited material at her disposal. But we end up feeling that a key part of the story was left out and Zoe was included mostly as eye candy.