Saturday, July 28, 2007

Zodiac: Grade C


Zodiac (2007)

Mark Ruffalo, Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr. Director David Fincher

The Zodiac killer terrorized San Francisco in the 1960s and 70’s but was never caught. Some murders are shown early in the movie but the bulk of the story is about the police investigation, which never gets off the ground and results in nothing. There is no tension in the story, just false leads, dead ends, and jurisdictional disputes. Early in the movie, RDJ plays Woodward against JG’s Bernstein in scenes gratuitously evoking All The President’s Men. Ruffalo as the police captain gives the best performance in the movie despite a stupid Columbo shtick that has him running around in a wrinkled raincoat. The period costumes and sets are so meticulous that they actually distract from the drama. You find yourself saying, “Wow, look at that Coke machine!” Even so, there were several dialog anachronisms. I liked the way Donovan’s “Hurdy-gurdy Man” took a sinister aspect by being associated with the killings, but period music was not used throughout. The real mystery is why nobody saw fit to edit this 2.5 hour movie to make a story out of it.

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