At 2 hours and 40 minutes, this movie is a hoss. My wife has an attention span of about 2 hours on the nose. She really wanted to see this movie. I gave her the caveat about the running time, but it did not deter her. So we went. Zodiac is the shortest 160 minute movie I have ever seen. It was gripping throughout the film. Fincher is a remarkable director. The acting was solid from everyone in the cast. I just feel bad that this movie was so well done, and that the running time is keeping people from seeing it. I find that a bit odd. People complain about the prices of tickets these days. But when a movie is long, they don’t want to go? That is ironic. At $8.00 a ticket, you are paying $.05 a minute. A typical 90 minute movie is about $.09 a minute. If you were buying a calling card, which would you buy? Exactly.
The movie is based on a book written by Robert Greysmith, who is played by Jake Gyllenhaal. So, it is his take on who the Zodiac killer is/was. The story follows Greysmith and his quest to uncover the identity of the serial killer that stalked California in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It tells the story of a cop, played by Mark Ruffalo, who was on the case with his partner, ERs Anthony Edwards. The supporting cast goes on and on. Brain Cox plays a psychiatrist that tries to help the Zodiac. Dermott Mulrooney plays the Chief of Police in San Francisco. Donal Logue plays the head of the police department in a town of one of the slayings. Elias Coteas plays the head of the PD of another town of another slaying. Robert Downey, Jr plays Avery, the crime writer for the newspaper that is personally threatened by the Zodiac himself.
Watching this movie, helped me realize how far we have come in forensic science, and in inter-departmental help. In the early stages of the killings, the three police departments have a hard time cooperating with each other. Over time, they slowly learn to work together. It was interesting to see how all the suspects were cleared by their handwriting or their fingerprint. Now, this is interesting because they couldn’t even prove that the partial print was from the Zodiac. They also couldn’t prove any of them were the Zodiac because of the way they wrote the letter “k.” One interesting thing that the director does that I caught, was that each time the show the Zodiac killer, they used a different person. It was always a silhouette or a masked man, but it was a different guy. Very cool, Mr. Fincher, very cool.
I was amazed at how many people did not know the outcome of the Zodiac and his fate. All in all, I strongly encourage people to see this movie. It is so welled filmed, acted, and tells a story that you probably only know part of, unless you read the book by Greysmith.
Verdict: Totally worth the 160 minute running time and $8.00 ticket. AS for the $12.00 in concessions, well, that is up to you.