Friday, December 5, 2008

ZODIAC (David Fincher, 2007, USA) One of the best of 2007! David Fincher finally makes an above average thriller and is able to vividly re-create the 1970s era and sustain the suspense as the Zodiac killer taunts investigators and seemingly kills for pleasure. A whole city (and police force) panics as they attempt to track down this psychopath before he kills again. And again. Though the killer is never arrested we peer into his mind through letters to the newspapers and police and also through eyewitness accounts from his few survivors. It is unnerving. Fincher’s attention to period detail is excellent; the clothing, cars, scenery, and music are all spot on. Mark Ruffalo is the cornerstone of this film and his performance is Oscar-worthy; he is both believable and compassionate as the lead investigator Dave Toschi who is ultimately unable to make an arrest; the real world isn’t like DIRTY HARRY movies, after all. I thought the film’s structure a bit fractured: we begin with the reporter Paul Avery, cross paths with Robert Graysmith, next we see the events unfold from Inspector Dave Toschi’s perspective and end up with Graysmith’s story again. I would like to have seen Toschi’s investigation as the focal point of the entire film even though it’s based on Graysmith’s book. Gyllenhaal is the weak link because he just doesn’t have the range to play an adult character…he’s too Donnie Darko-ish. Otherwise, a very good film and Alex recommends his droogs viddy well. (B+)

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