Directed by David Fincher
Written by James Vanderbilt, Robert Greysmith
Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr, Anthony Edwards, Brian Cox, John Carroll Lynch, Chloe Sevigny, John Getz, John Terry, Elias Koteas, Dermot Mulroney, Donal Logue, Phillip Baker Hall, Zach Grenier,
Based on the book by the real life Robert Greysmith (portrayed here by Gyllenhaal), who worked as a cartoonist for The San Francisco Chronicle in the 1960’s during the time of the Zodiac Killer. Zodiac wrote to reporters at this newspaper, and Greysmith and his associate Paul Avery (Downey Jr) investigated, with both of their personal lives suffering as a result. Also investigating was Inspector David Toschi (Ruffalo).
Fincher’s unique directorial style is used many times throughout. His very Steadicam shots paired with computer imagery is used several times, but I feel he has done these shots much better in his previous films.
The performances are also sound, but once again I felt that every one of these performers have done better work in the past, and later in their careers. The top performer is Robert Downey Jr who is pre Marvel here.
At a little over 160m, it is a little long too, but I understand from a storytelling perspective why it needed to be. Due to the longevity of the investigation, and the lives that it affected, there was reason to have such a drawn out film.
The film also does a good job of leading the audience to who the Zodiac was, as there are a good two possibilities by the end of the film of who he was.
While it is hard to put down this film, and there isn’t anything inherently wrong with it. It is just okay. At almost 3 hours it is an effort to get through, and I really struggled to write this review, as I was so conflicted on my opinions on it.