Having made his rep with gory, atmospheric psychological-chillers, megger David Fincher turned sobersides for this fact-based serial killer saga. He got his best reviews & his worst box-office for his troubles. The story is less about the eponymous serial killer than about how the desultory investigation destabilized the lives of a series of obsessed reporters & detectives. Clocking in at a mind-numbing 158 minutes, Fincher has succumbed as well. A talented cast (Jake Gyllenhaal, Anthony Edwards, Robert Downey, Jr & Mark Ruffalo) all speak in such indecipherable mumbled monotones that those who’d like to follow the obtuse slo-mo investigation had best punch up the subtitles.
WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Rinse off Fincher’s ponderous self-importance with Joon-ho Bong’s MEMORIES OF MURDER/’03.