The Killer Review : An Assassin Hides In Plain Sight

The killer

David Fincher returns to Netflix with The Killer, a more comfortable project than his personal 2020 biopic Mank. To further evoke the spirit of classic Fincher, he has even reteamed with Seven writer Andrew Kevin Walker.

And The Killer is exactly what you would expect from vintage Fincher. It’s safe to say that he recognised a little bit of himself in the main character—an unidentified assassin who painstakingly plans every move and follows through on his plan no matter what—in the character.

While Michael Fassbender’s character, The Killer, employs this motto to execute his most recent hit, David Fincher meticulously crafts each element of his films to achieve the highest level of cinematic suspense. The end product is a chic and sophisticated vengeance thriller, but you’ll wish there was a little more to it. Everything is in its proper place.

Inspired on the same-titled graphic novel series, The Killer follows an assassin who, after a botched hit, goes on an international pursuit against his employers, with fatal consequences for those who know him.

It’s not the revenge thriller you’re looking for, if that’s what you were hoping for. Six chapters make up The Killer, most of which see the anonymous assassin take on victims of his wrongdoing, such as The Brute (Sala Baker), The Expert (Tilda Swinton), and The Lawyer (Charles Parnell).

The killer Netflix review

The Killer is so skilled at what he does that you never feel safe around him, and the fact that the chapter with real danger is the most memorable is telling. It’s nasty, humorous, and heartbreaking to behold as Fincher arranges an amazing combat scene between The Killer and The Brute. It even has a connection to Antiques Roadshow.

Excellent writing is found in every other chapter, and some moments, like Tilda Swinton’s delivery of the “hunter and the bear” joke, are quite remarkable. Though formulaic and predictable throughout, it’s entertaining while it lasts rather than dragging on for too long like some of Fincher’s previous films have.

The film The Killer consistently benefits from Fincher’s masterful direction and Michael Fassbender’s outstanding performance. He plays a chilly, distant assassin who struggles with a contradiction between his inner beliefs and his real-life acts in his first motion picture role in four years.

Although the first chapter’s lengthy narration and Fassbender staring out of a window may try viewers’ patience, it also introduces the lighter side of Fincher that is on display. Fassbender’s stoic delivery creates a number of macabrely humorous moments, despite the Killer’s belief that he is perfect.

It’s a surprising addition to a film that, in retrospect, really needed more surprises. But The Killer is a chic and compelling vengeance thriller, and even mid-tier David Fincher is well worth your time.

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