I wanted to re-watch this film because of my review of Bullitt brought up an interesting point. Steve McQueen based his performance of Bullitt on David Toschi, check out my look at Bullitt here:
Toschi, the lead investigator on the Zodiac case is portrayed by Mark Ruffalo in this film. Toschi is the basis for Dirty Harry as well, so Toschi was a real life badass that has become part of 3 great neo-noir movies.
Zodiac is based on a book by Robert Graysmith, who is played by Jake Gyllenhaal. This movie actually reopened the case of the Zodiac. Though most of this film is based on Graysmith’s take of the case so it is basically from one persons prospective.
The film is directed by one of my favorite directors of all time, David Fincher. We will be re-looking at many more Fincher neo-noir films on this site.
Robert Downey Jr. played Paul Avery, a reporter famous for working on the Zodiac case as well as the Patricia Hearst Kidnapping case.
The dialog in this film has flashing moments of classic noir dialog. I didn’t pick up on this when I watched it the first time back in 2007.
A couple I loved:
Robert Graysmith: Doesn’t it bother you that people call you Shorty?
Shorty: Doesn’t it bother you that people call you retard?
Robert Graysmith: Nobody calls me that.
Paul Avery: What do you do for fun?
Robert Graysmith: I love to read.
Paul Avery: Mhmm.
Robert Graysmith: Umm, I enjoy books.
Paul Avery: Those are the same things.
And maybe the best is David Toschi constantly asking for some Animal Crackers.
David Fincher also does a great job of showing San Francisco in a classic fashion, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Port of San Francisco and the time laps of the Transamerica Pyramid give the film a dark look. The creepy basement scene, with lots of shadows is almost black and white in feel.
This movie comes to a conclusion that a certain suspect was in fact the Zodiac Killer(I will not mention names for those that have not seen the movie). Later DNA testing seems to have cleared this person. There is many other theories on who was the Zodiac Killer, but nobody has officially solved the crime yet. Since this film there has been numerous deathbed confessions and supposed new evidence. One theory actually links the case of the Black Dahlia with the Zodiac Killer. We may never know the real story of this case, but this film is entertaining on its own.