In Theatres: 
Mar 02, 2007
Running Time: 
2 Hours, 40 minutes

SYNOPSIS: I was pretty skeptical when I first heard about this one. David Fincher is one of my favorite directors but I couldn’t figure out how even he would be able to successfully chronicle the Zodiac killer events and make an entertaining movie. The subject matter is great and all. It’s just that over the course of the many years that this killer was active he wasn’t chugging away 24/7. Neither were the authorities or newspapers. So how do you include all of the information to make this a good movie? Well, you can try all you like but it’s not going to happen.

The official statement is that this film is 2 hours and 40 minutes long, but upon leaving the theater I was amazed – AMAZED I tell you – that it was the same day as when I went in. I’d swear they were covering the Zodiac investigation in real time if it weren’t for the fact that nearly every scene skips anywhere from a few hours to multiple years to get to the next one. This happens pretty much without warning except for an occasional fadeout. After the initial circumstances that launch the film it becomes increasingly difficult to care about anything that happens because you keep losing time. When the end finally rolls around, the audience is so weary from watching five minutes conversations that are separated by days if not months in the story’s chronology there are groans of burden for each of the 5 screens of text that come up to bring closure to the characters and events before the credits roll.

If this movie is four days long then for at least the first day or so you’re switched between so many different situations that it’s difficult to figure out if there even is a lead character. Toward the middle of day two your view is limited to a handful of people and by day 3 ½ it’s specifically centered on Jake Gyllenhaal. To that end I’m happy because it seems that telling the story had greater priority than giving particular actors unnecessary screen time. Just about any role that has repeat appearances is given a familiar face, so once you get terribly bored with the actual events you can always play a game of what-else-was-he-in.

This isn’t a total loss though. Fincher works his usual magic with the cast to give the characters an elegant simplicity. The film is technically sound, with a great camera work, costumes, and the like and the dialogue seems very natural. I…uh…that’s all I can think of for a defense. Good director and cast. Worthy attempt at summing up years of information in a film. Slow as Christmas.

Review by Baron Aloha