The Killer 2023 Movie Review
I’m a huge fan of David Fincher’s work. I consider Zodiac, The Social Network, & Fight Club to be amongst my favorite films, and Mindhunter in that same category for TV shows. So, even with The Killer dropping on Netflix, I went to a special theater showing to see it on the big screen. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way in to this one–mainly because plot-lovers (like me) will largely be a bit lost.
For a very basic overview, “The Killer” tells the story of the unnamed Killer (Michael Fassbender) hired to perform a rather tedious assassination. When the plan goes a bit awry, however, he must compromise–or at least re-evaluate–some of his principles as he ventures into uncharted emotional territory.
The Killer is certainly a clinic in cinematography and choreography, as is the usual Fincher style. Its action set pieces are tension-filled and Fassbender’s flat aesthetic is perfect for the lead role. Half the film’s dialogue is the Killer’s snarky inner monologue, and again Fassbender nails that.
The big problem–at least for plot-lovers–here is that there is seemingly very little context or rhyme/reason for what we see transpire. Almost nothing is provided other than what is literally playing out in front of viewers in any given scene. As such, I really struggled to care about anything that was happening–in large part because it quite frankly felt like a series of disconnected interludes as opposed to a whole, coherent story. There were times I even felt bored watching because I knew an extended espionage scene was upcoming and I didn’t fully understand the stakes.
Seeing as how The Killer is getting relatively high marks, I can assume either one of two things is happening: 1. Audiences are not as hung-up on the lack of discernible plot/motives than I; or 2. There is a deeper message here that I’m just utterly missing. Perhaps the ongoing monologue holds the key–but again, I found that more snarky/sardonic than informative.
Perhaps more analysis or a second viewing will crystalize The Killer for me–but as it stands in the immediate aftermath of my first viewing I have to place it near (perhaps at) the bottom of the Fincher canon.