Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Zodiac (2007)

The true story of a serial killer in the San Francisco area makes for compelling viewing in Zodiac.

Solid casting with Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey, Jr., in the leads is a big plus in this solid 2007 thriller from director David Fincher (The Social Network, Panic Room).

The killer, Zodiac, kills his first two victims in 1969. More follow. There's threats of taking out a school bus filled with children. Hundreds of suspects are investigated.

A cartoonist with the San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Graysmith (Gyllenhaal), becomes obsessed with the investigation. He pinches garbage out of crime reporter Paul Avery's garbage. He's played by Downey, Jr.

Ruffalo is Insp. David Toschi, who along with partner Insp. William Armstrong, tries to find out who's responsible.

It's Graysmith who perseveres with the case, pouring over documents related to the investigation long after police have put the case on the back burner. That's because the search was still continuing in 1991. Graysmith's dedication puts his marriage to Melanie (Chloe Sevigny) on the rocks and threatens to fill his apartment with boxes of information about the murderer.

There's also a generous amount of humour in this film to balance the horror of brutal violence doled out to young couples and cabbies.

DVD of Zodiac I watched was just the film. No extras. There's a two-disc edition with interviews with Zodiac investigators. That sounds interesting.

RATING: 8/10

FUN FACTS: John Carroll Lynch, who appears as murder suspect Arthur Leigh Allen, made his film debut in Grumpy Old Men with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.

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