When Fincher made Seven, there were complaints that you couldn't hear the dialogue over the heavy drum of the rain. Fragments of the case files were lost and audience members were left disgruntled. Personally I enjoyed Seven more for that, and more than I did Zodiac, but, watching Zodiac, it's evident that this is almost a reaction to that. Not quite an apology, just a recompense to those who sought an enthralling thriller.
Zodiac follows both journalists and detectives chasing after the infamous Zodiac killer. Spanning multiple decades, we focus on three characters who collide on this case.
Zodiac plays right into Fincher's wheelhouse. Psychopaths, dingy lighting, puzzles and even more dingy lighting, you can tell that Fincher is breezing through this thriller. Yet, it doesn't feel like he isnt interested. It's certainly a deep focus for him, and moreso for the real world as the case has never been solved.
Through the shifts in time and jumps between settings, we get the sense that the mystery of the Zodiac killer becomes an nationwide itch that's incurable. A sense of suspicion permeates the film, with every extra being a potential suspect. We are constantly playing the scene from Seven in our heads, where our killer is shockingly revealed. What was that motorbike? Who's that guy skulking in the corner?
And while there are some comedic bumps in the road which feel mandatory rather than mistaken, Zodiac rides it's almost three hour run-time with ease, keeping the audience awake every step of the way.