By Justin Hamelin
Directed by David Fincher
An all-star cast brings one of the most infamous tales in American history to life. Robert Downey, Jr., Jake Gyllenhaall and Mark Ruffalo portray three of the most tormented people intertwined in the Zodiac killings that haunted California in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Downey Jr. plays Paul Avery, the hot shot lead reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle who delivers an awesome as usual performance. Ruffalo is Detective David Toschi, a neurotic but exceptional cop who ends up calling it quits on the investigation before he falls in too deep. Gyllenhaal portrays Chronicle cartoonist Robert Graysmith, an all-American young man who ends up taking a nose dive into the investigation and becoming infatuated with the cases even after police all but let the investigation go cold. The real Graysmith wrote the book that the film is based off of and takes credit for leading authorities to the man who many believe was responsible for the killings.
The first act of the film is practically a true horror film, as we witness a handful of brutal murders that the masked mad man committed. Each scene is quite intense and extremely heavy.
As the film moves forward, the killer himself fades to the background much like he did in real life on more than one occasion, and we watch as marriages deteriorate and lives are held hostage while Downey Jr., Gyllenhaal and Ruffalo continue their hunt for the notorious killer. The movie has an incredibly engrossing documentary feel to it and while the Hollywood aspect of the film comes and goes quickly in the first few minutes with some of the more intense death scenes, this in no way takes away from an excellent film. The dialogue is meticulous and even drawn out at times, bordering on rambling. However, that seems to just feed into the real-life hysteria that these men were facing each and every day while on this case. An awesome watch, regardless of the two-plus hour length.
My Rating: 9/10