Still, Zodiac sounded like it could be pretty much like a reprise of Se7en. Now that I've seen it, I can say that it has similarities with it and one important difference. First, obviously the subject matter is pretty much the same, and the film has the same tone and colors (though Se7en was more... I don't know... damp, dark and sharp I guess are the words I'm looking for here, which in that sense made it even better). I could also swear that one particular scene looks so much like another scene on Se7en, that it could very well be a deliberate nod to the director's 1995 movie.
The key difference though, is that whereas in Se7en people (namely, a couple of detectives) are trying to catch a serial killer before he completes what he has set out to do, in Zodiac most of the film is about what happens after that point is reached. How the trail grows colder every day, except for a few obsessive people.
I liked it, but unfortunately its length (158 minutes) and uneven pace make it a film more difficult to digest than it should be in the first place, as far as I'm concerned. At nearly three hours, it's a really long one. Another minor gripe with it for me was that the cast although really competent wasn't memorable. Maybe I'm biased because of the incredible doubles of Pitt/Freeman and Pitt/Norton, but still I would have loved that the two detectives had been played by more interesting actors. In the case of Gyllenhaal, though I admit I'm not a fan of his, I do think he's been perfectly cast for his role.
Still, Fincher seems to be very much in control of his game, delivering again a top film, recovering from the mild disappointment that was Panic Room.