The Killer Review:
David Fincher, a master of the cinematic craft, has had a remarkable and diverse career. From dark thrillers like “Se7en” and “Panic Room” to acclaimed dramas like “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “The Social Network,” he’s showcased his versatility and talent. His latest offering, “The Killer,” seems like a return to his earlier genre work, featuring an assassin as the central character. While the film incorporates many elements that play to Fincher’s strengths, it ultimately falls short due to a lack of engaging material that sets it apart from countless generic action titles.
The Assassin’s Tale
In “The Killer,” Michael Fassbender takes on the role of a nameless assassin, a character who prides himself on his near-perfect success rate. However, when the assassin makes a critical error, he’s thrust into unfamiliar territory. Suddenly, he faces the consequences of a botched job, becoming a target himself and racing to tie up all the loose ends.
A Reunion of Talents
Fans of David Fincher were excited about his collaboration with screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, known for their previous work together on “Se7en.” The film benefits from their collective talents, with confident direction and a well-structured script. However, the movie’s drawbacks stem from the inherent nature of its source material, based on the comic book series by writer Alexis “Matz” Nolent and artist Luc Jacamon. “The Killer” follows a well-trodden path of revenge, with the main character facing the fallout from a mistake and seeking justice. This narrative trajectory feels all too familiar and lacks the uniqueness needed to stand out in the crowded action genre.
The Stoic Assassin
Fassbender’s character is characterized by his remarkable ability to blend into the background, remaining unnoticed in the world. The killer’s personality is consistent throughout the film, with a steely demeanor, whether he’s utilizing disguises or other covert tactics. This unwavering character can make it challenging for the audience to emotionally invest in him or the events of the story.
Lacking Emotional Depth
One of the film’s frustrations is its inability to provide an emotional entry point for the audience. In contrast, the action genre has evolved in recent years, with films like “John Wick” offering a more emotionally motivated path of vengeance, allowing audiences to sympathize with their characters. “The Killer” lacks the excitement and spectacle of its peers, as Fassbender’s character dispatches his targets with efficiency, leaving no room for mindless mayhem or over-the-top violence.
A Meticulous Approach
While the film may lack emotional depth and spectacular action, it still offers moments of enjoyment. Michael Fassbender’s performance remains captivating, even when he’s plotting multiple murders with the same indifference as running errands. The film’s focus on precision in execution keeps the audience engaged in how the story will unfold. Fincher’s direction maintains its compelling quality, adding yet another remarkable entry to his impressive portfolio. The partnership between Fincher and musicians Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross continues to shine, as the film’s subtle and straightforward score echoes the eerie efficiency of the assassin.
The Killer Review: A Return to Form
“The Killer” feels like a return to form for David Fincher, focusing on a more straightforward narrative. While any film from Fincher is bound to stand out due to his unique style and tone, this storyline fails to engage or stand out from its genre counterparts. The film feels like a previous Fincher thriller but lacks the narrative twists and turns that made those films so enjoyable. However, it’s refreshing to see the filmmaker delivering something closer to an escapist crowd-pleaser than his more recent, complex works.
The Fate of “The Killer”
Sadly, “The Killer” is likely to join the growing list of Netflix originals that briefly dominate the streaming charts before fading into obscurity. Much like the character himself, who completes a job as intended and is soon forgotten, the film may not leave a lasting mark on audiences.
“The Killer” showcases David Fincher’s signature style and meticulous craftsmanship but lacks the engaging narrative and emotional depth needed to make it truly memorable. Michael Fassbender’s performance remains a highlight, but the film ultimately falls into the category of forgettable action titles. While it may not reach the heights of Fincher’s previous works, it still offers moments of intrigue and visual appeal. Whether or not it leaves a lasting impact depends on individual preferences, but it’s clear that this “return to form” is not without its shortcomings.
So, whether you’re a die-hard Fincher fan or simply looking for a stylish action film, “The Killer” may or may not satisfy your cinematic cravings. It’s a reminder that even the finest filmmakers can face challenges in crafting a compelling narrative, and that not every return to form is a guaranteed success.