Movie: The Killer
Production Companies: Netflix Studios, Plan B Entertainment, Boom! Studios, Panic Pictures (II)
Director: David Fincher
Producers: William Doyle, Peter Mavromentes, Cean Chaffin
Scriptwriter: Andrew Kevin Walker
Main Cast: Michael Fassbender, Arliss Howard, Charles Parnell, Kerry O’Malley, Sala Baker, Sophie Charlotte, Tilda Swinton
Release Date: November 10th 2023 (Netflix)
Running Time: 118 minutes
Don’t worry, this isn’t just another pointless Netflix time killer… After that dead funny segue, The Killer is probably the most David Fincher film you’ll ever see. And no, I’m not just saying that because of *THAT* awesome fight scene. Also, Michael Fassbender turns in his best Anton Chigurh performance in a well done slow burn thriller. See what I mean about this being one of the most David Fincher films? Anyway, enough killing time let’s get into my review of the Killer now.
The Killer is an adaptation of the French graphic novels of the same name written by Alexis ‘Matz’ Nolent and illustrated by Luc Jacamon. The film follows an unnamed assassin, credited as the Killer (Fassbender), as his botched assassination attempt turns into an international manhunt with him looking for his girlfriend’s attackers. This leads him on a global manhunt from Paris to Florida to New York. So, not really that much of a global manhunt…. Along the way, The Killer is questioned about why he’s still in the business and if it’s the correct choice.
Michael Fassbender’s Performance in The Killer
Right, let’s start with the elephant in the room: Michael Fassbender’s performance. And honestly, he may be the most sane fan of the Smiths you’ll ever see. Given he’s an assassin that should say a lot. Anyway, the fact Fassbender keeps his performance so emotionless is a testament to his ability as even when he’s shooting Tilda Swinton through the back of the head his face is still a blank canvas of emotion. Also, his emotionless performance is benefitted by the slow burn pacing as it allows him to flesh out the performance rather than a quicker pace film where the emotionlessness may have grown tedious very quickly.
And, special mention for his part in *THAT* fight scene as Fincher proves he can still direct a great fight scene where The Killer finds himself outwitted and very nearly outgunned. Overall, a very, very solid performance which is a lot more than the knockoff Anton Chigurh homage that I joked it was in the introduction. Also, an interesting choice of music for him to listen to given the reputation of certain fans of the Smiths because Heaven knows they’re miserable now…
Fight Scenes in the Killer
Speaking of the fight scene, my god it’s almost perfect. While it isn’t up there with anything out of Fight Club, it’s very good. For starters, it starts as a one take fight scene which gets the audience adrenaline pumping before switching up entirely to a more psychological approach. This is seen with the handheld POV shots as the Brute enters the bathroom after the Killer when the Killer shoots through the door.
Again, more examples of that are seen as The Killer loses his gun and is forced onto the backfoot where there’s a nice little comedic moment. This sees him go to grab a knife but he only finds a cheese grater. Grate weapon if you ask me… Anyway, this scene is full of tension as Fincher is playing with the audience even as they know he’s got plot armour and isn’t going to die. Overall, a very well done fight scene, from both a psychological and technical perspective.
To summarise the Killer, this is a well made and acted thriller adaptation which sees Michael Fassbender channelling your average Smiths fan a bit too well. But this charming man really pulls it off… Anyway, well worth a watch even if it has the same level of female representation as your average Michael Bay film….
Overall Rating: 6.5/10 – Okay
Target Audience: 15+
Content Warning: Mild Sex and Nudity, Severe Violence and Gore, Moderate Profanity, Mild Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking, Moderate Frightening and Intense Scenes