Monday, March 05, 2007

Zodiac Review

I went last night to go see David Fincher's new film "Zodiac".

Now, I have to say going in, I'm not a die-hard David Fincher fan. I've got a couple of favorites of his, but by no means do I think he's batting a thousand on his career. I didn't even see Panic Room and my favorite two movies of his are Fight Club (predictably) and Alien 3 (seriously).

But, I have to say, I enjoyed Zodiac immensely. I can see where a lot of people would see it as "dull" but those are the same ass-holes who probably wouldn't watch what I would call Zodiac's investigative predecessor, All the President's Men, because it's too old. This film is as much about the Zodiac killer as All the President's Men was about Richard Nixon. Both films were more about the thrill and obsession of an important investigation than the actual object of the investigation itself.

The Zodiac killer, like Nixon, was a brilliant MacGuffin, an amazing set to stage a tale of delusional preoccupation with a quest for truth.

The script and story offers each actor, bit player or not, a spotlight for his capabilities. Gyllenhaal, Ruffalo and Downey, though, go above and beyond to truly inhabit this world and the obsession involved in investigating so heinous a series of crimes. (Or, in Robert Downey Jr.'s case, the lack of obsession.)

The film is constructed in such a fashion as though it's barreling freight-train of murder and the investigators never get out from in front of it until well after the murders are over. The most interesting part of this film, for me, was the idea that the killings were well over before everyone involved in the investigation were even able to tread water with the immensity of the crimes and evidence (or lack of it.)

The editing, visual style and cinematography of the film were capably shepherded by Fincher and make this film worth watching. It's a fun, intense ride through the investigation and, at the risk of sounding like a film-review cliche, it really did keep me on the edge of my seat. It was anything but dull.

I don't think the film is perfect, but if I had to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 I would place it at a very solid 8. Everything was solid, it just wasn't my favorite...

1 comment:

Magnus Maximus said...

I finally saw this the other night and was duly impressed. I can see how audiences craving gunshots and/or nudity every ten minutes would find it dull, but for someone with more sophisticated tastes (I'm an elitist!) it's quite satisfying. I liked the fact that Fincher let the facts and theories fly at you nonstop; he doesn't insult your intelligence as so many films do these days.