It was well received by critics, who praised the film’s darkness, brutality and themes. Soon-to-retire detective William Somerset is partnered with short-tempered but idealistic David Mills, who has recently moved to the city with his wife Tracy. Tracy confides to Somerset that she is pregnant and has yet to tell Mills, as she is unhappy with the city and feels it is no place to raise a child. Somerset sympathizes, having had a similar situation with his it’s all good gwyneth paltrow pdf-girlfriend many years earlier, and advises her to tell Mills only if she plans to keep the child.
Daily photographs of the victim, taken over a year, show the crimes were planned far in advance. Doe flees and Mills gives chase. Doe turns to hold Mills at gunpoint for a moment before escaping. The apartment contains hundreds of notebooks revealing Doe’s psychopathy, as well as a clue to another murder.
As Somerset and Mills return to the police station, Doe turns himself in, covered in the blood of an unidentified victim. Somerset is wary, but Mills agrees. The detectives follow Doe’s directions to a remote desert location. Within minutes, a delivery van approaches. Mills holds Doe at gunpoint while Somerset intercepts the driver, who has been instructed to bring a box to them. Doe taunts Mills by telling him how jealous he was of his life and Tracy. Somerset opens the box and warns Mills to stay back.
Police converge and take the devastated Mills away. Washington later regretted turning down the role. The ending of the screenplay, with the head in the box, was originally part of an earlier draft that New Line had rejected, instead opting for an ending that involved more traditional elements of a detective thriller film with more action-oriented elements. But when New Line sent David Fincher the screenplay to review for his interest in the project, they accidentally sent him the original screenplay with the head-in-the-box ending. It implies so much, not about why you did but how you did it”. He found it more a “meditation on evil” rather than a “police procedural”. De Luca stated that if Fincher promised to produce the movie, they would be able to stay with the head-in-a-box ending.
Despite this, producer Kopelson refused to allow the film to include the head-in-a-box scene. Filming took place in Los Angeles, California. Fincher allowed Walker on the set while filming for on-the-set rewrites. The crowded urban streets filled with noisy denizens and an oppressive rain that seems to fall without respite were integral parts of the film, as Fincher wanted to show a city that was “dirty, violent, polluted, often depressing. Visually and stylistically, that’s how we wanted to portray this world.