Not long into The Zero Theorem, we see our bald hero, Qohen Lethe (Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained) step out of his dour church home and into the bright, garish street. He’s assaulted with a visual and auditory parade. There’s an advertisement that follows us down the street, like a pop-up ad that you can’t quite find the close button for. A sign for the Church of Batman the Redeemer passes in and out of view as citizens of this dilapidated future (or alternate present) city chatter in bright plastic jackets. Eventually he makes his way to his job, which involves hidden hands trading liquid vials of computer data while Qohen pedals furiously at his blinking and blooping workstation.

For fans of Terry Gilliam (and I count myself among them), it’s nothing less than a jackpot. Kafkaesque bureaucracy that’s hilarious and terrible at the same time? Check. Downtrodden but nevertheless hopeful central character who will serve as our guide in this alien otherworld? Check. Visuals that are low-rent, but surprisingly imaginative and whimsically horrible? Check, check, and check. It seems like it’s nothing less than a return to form for the director who brought us Brazil and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.