How many stars can you fit into a single film?

Zodiac features great performances from everyone involved, notably Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr. Even the supporting cast showed phenomenal talent. The biggest complaint I had was with Charles Fleischer, as I thought his line delivery left something to be desired.

I was very interested to watch Zodiac because I knew of the case, but had never taken the time to research the details of it. It was good to see the events depicted in film format, even if some liberties were taken.

My major issue with the movie is that, while interesting, I didn’t find it very captivating. I felt that I was watching a documentary at times, rather than a film for viewing pleasure. While not necessarily a terrible thing, it wasn’t what I was hoping for or expecting.

I also found that the cinematography ranged from passable to bland for the majority of the film. I grew extremely tired of the ‘fade to black’ transitions and the ‘time, date, location’ typography on the screen. Do we really need to know that an hour has passed?

I found the musical score to be hit or miss. At times, it was tense and dramatic and really accomplished the goal of amplifying the suspense on screen. Other times, it was almost whimsical and didn’t fit the tone or atmosphere of the film or subject matter.

The plot was all over the place and, quite honestly, a mess. I’m sure that this was true of the actual events that the film is based on, so it’s easy enough to give it a pass in this regard.

However, the scene where the Zodiac attacks the couple while wearing some kind of fantastical black outfit was ridiculous. I’m not familiar enough with the case to know if that actually occurred, but that costume accompanied by the atrocious script and questionable acting from all three parties involved made it quite a horrible scene.

While not the perfect film, Zodiac is an interesting and educational – if somewhat overlong – experience.

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