"THIS IS THE ZODIAC SPEAKING..."
What an excellent piece of moviemaking. David Fincher's "Zodiac", that is.
It won't be for everybody, though. If for no other reason than it's very different from everything else that Mr. Fincher has done so far. I won't delve into the historical background of this (in)famous serial killer. Try Wikipedia for that.
Suffice to say, Zodiac really existed. He was the modern Jack The Ripper. (Just like Jack, Zodiac never got caught, by the way.) They even did a movie about him in the early Seventies. Kind of. I mean, The Scorpio (Andy Robinson in a masterful, career kamikaze perf) of "Dirty Harry" (1971) was a carbon copy of The Zodiac.
'Nuff said. Fans of "Se7en" (1996) and "Fight Club" (1999) won't get their kicks from "Zodiac". At least not in terms of excessive violence and angst. "Zodiac" has much more in common with classic political thrillers like "All the President's Men" (1976).
It's not about the gore, the splatter or the kills here. Oh no. It's about police procedure. What makes "Zodiac" so chillingly effective is not because Fincher has hidden his guns and bagged his tools. No, just like in the case of "Se7en", once again he has a classy SCRIPT. And an excellent CAST.
I dare to claim that actors like Jake Gyllenhaal, Anthony Edwards, Robert Downey, Jr. and Mark Ruffalo have NEVER been in roles quite like these, which are so well suited to their own personalities and individual quirks. Even David Shire's retro score underlines this. "Zodiac" comes highly recommended, if you can endure a lot of talk and narrative cleverness.
Come Oscar time next year, I think "Zodiac" will be remembered. Makes me pine back to San Francisco...