The Reel Review
The meticulous, monotonous and methodical life of a cold-blooded assassin is disrupted after a botched kill, in this crime thriller from director David Fincher. Starring Michael Fassbender, The Killer is based on the 2018 graphic novel from Alexis “Matz” Nolent and Luc Jacamon.
Dark, broody visuals, Fassbender’s clinical voice-over narration, and songs from The Smiths (presumably to calm the killer’s mind), are the foundation of Fincher’s stylish crime noir. Humor abounds, from the killer’s reliance on decades old TV series characters for his aliases, to Tilda Swinton’s hilarious soliloquy in the chapter about The Expert.
Despite its detailed, stylish vibe, The Killer’s tale of the cold, lonely life of a hired assassin it is itself pretty cold and thus hard to connect with – it’s more of a character portrait than a true action/thriller. But as revenge thrillers go, it will do the trick on a rainy day.
• The Killer is the first collaboration between David Fincher and screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker since their 1995 horror/thriller Se7en.
• The Killer is the second feature film in a four-year exclusive deal between David Fincher and Netflix, after 2020’s Mank.
• Prior to becoming a thrice Oscar-nominated director (The Curious Life of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, Mank), David Fincher directed music videos, among them: Madonna’s Vogue, Oh Father and Express Yourself, Jody Watley’s Most of All and Real Love, and George Michael’s Freedom! 90.