There are many instances of films being under-appreciated upon
release, to later be retrospectively ZODIAC
recognised as a masterpiece – David Fincher’s phenomenal
Zodiac is surely one of those films.
A staggeringly well-made retelling of the hunt for the serial killer who
terrorised the Bay Area in the late60s and 70s, it’s a film about
obsession, made by a director with an obsessive attention to detail
(check the making-of doc to see ZODIAC
just how minute the details are that Fincher gets into) that itself inspires
obsession, not least in admiring the ZODIAC
direction and central performances from Gyllenhaal, Downey Jr and a
brilliant Mark Ruffalo. Somehow
forging a sense of closure from an open-ended true-life tale, it’s a
superb achievement and worthy of future recognition as a classic.
Aiming for an all-star return to the Fargo blend of quirky comedy and violence, it lacks that movie’s heart,ZODIAC
dialogue and any semblance of a coherent plot. Whilst there are moments of amusement – Brad Pitt’s bighaired
dipshit and an excellent JK Simmons cameo provide most of those – there’s a disturbingly cobbled
together, ‘that’ll do’ air about this. Most staggering of all is the dawning realisation that, yes, they really are
going to end the film like that, which even after just 90 minutes cheats audience of the time they’ve invested in
what passes for a story. Coens fans are well used to being teased; this time they might actually feel insulted.
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