20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Worth seeing for anyone who appreciates an intelligent story well-told.,
This review is from: Zodiac [DVD]  (DVD)
I'm reading a lot of the same criticisms of this film so I will deal with each of the most common ones in turn:
"The movie is too long"
Not true. The movie is as long as it needs to be. There is a lot of information about this case - most of it has to be discarded. What is left has earned its place and needs to be there. I found the film gripping to the end.
"The killer doesn't figure highly enough. It is too dull and talky"
This criticism usually comes from lovers of serial-killer thrillers. After seeing a few murders in the beginning of the film, they expect it to crack up a notch as it progresses. It is true that The Zodiac is largely absent from the 2nd half of the film, but that only allows the main plot (one character's obsession) to dominate which is where the film really starts to take shape. Obsession and its effects are the point of this film. It is not a Columbo-type good guy v bad guy puzzle-solver. The bad guy doesn't have to figure highly when there is so much conflict between the good guys. Police departments that don't talk to each other, journalists and police arguing with each other, a Zodiac obsessive getting no co-operation from people who want to forget the case. Throw in a couple of creepy suspects and a series of bizarre telephone calls and you have enough drama to keep the story always engaging.
"The film's conclusion is wrong"
The film's conclusion is right, GIVEN ITS SOURCE MATERIAL. It may not be always factually accurate, nor does it need to be. It's a drama inspired by true events, not a documentary. The important thing is that Zodiac makes clear who provided its source material and the cirsumstances surrounding its production.
"Not Fincher's best"
I think it's his best work to date. Of course if you come to this film expecting to see Seven 2, you will almost certainly be disappointed. It's more like a cross between All the Presidents Men and JFK. It lacks the bold and inventive camerawork and lighting of Seven and Fight Club and its hard to believe sometimes that it was made by the same director. On the other hand, it takes someone with the skills to make films such as these to have been capable of maturing into the director that made Zodiac. It deals with far more complex, weighty and difficult material than did Fincher's earlier movies and the sober and precise style he uses is entirely appropriate.
"The violence in this film is too brutal. One scene in particular is too much"
This is a valid criticism. I found the scene in question very shocking and the viewer should be aware of this. However it cannot be dismissed as unnececcessary because it has the desired effect of letting the audience know in no uncertain terms what this individual is capable of. This action resonates in later scenes making them more effective. On the whole this is not a violent film at all.
"The acting is rubbish"
Ok, I don't think anyone really said this (unless they are crazy). I just wanted to contrive the opportunity to say that the acting in this film is of a very high standard. Jake Gylenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, John Carroll Lynch - all excellent. And Robert Downey Junior's much needed humerous touch was worth the price of admission alone!
Worth seeing for anyone who appreciates an intelligent story well-told.