David Fincher’s 12th feature film, The Killer, sees the filmmaker reunite with Netflix as we follow a lone wolf assassin.
What should have been a basic hit becomes a hit-gone-wrong and the titular killer (Michael Fassbender) pays the consequences. It turns out that his boss sends people to take care of his loved ones, which turns out to be a bad idea. He ends up going up the chain to take out even more people if there’s even a remote possibility of threatening his life. I’m sitting here thinking that if he doesn’t want people threatening him or his loved ones, maybe this is the wrong business. At the same time, his stakeouts are so mundane that they would put anybody to sleep due to boredom. I’m not saying that the film is boring. What I am saying is that looking out a window for hours at a time must be boring. Thankfully, Fincher doesn’t do this to the audience.
I generally like David Fincher movies–the films that I’ve seen, that is. This one is a far cry from his could-have-been-better Mank biopic. It’s even further from the cinematic masterpiece that is The Social Network. When one raises the bar that high, it’s tough to reach the same point again.
The best part of the film is honestly whenever he uses an alias to check in somewhere. More often than not, it’s from a famous TV show. Cheers, The Odd Couple, you name it. Hey, it’s the small things that make me laugh so I have to take those when I can right now. But overall, The Killer felt rather long at its nearly 2-hour run time. I could have done without Fassbender’s voiceover narration. Meanwhile, I’ve struggled to write about this film because there isn’t really much to say about it. Yes, I saw it in a movie theater and it managed to keep me off of my phone. At the same time, my headspace absolutely sucked while watching, which I’m sure did not help whatsoever. I watched the film during the Chicago International Film Festival and the screening was barely a week and a half after October 7.
The opening stakeout could very well rival that of Rear Window but the rest of the film does not come close to the Alfred Hitchcock thriller. The Rear Window comparison starts and ends rather quickly. Part of the problem with Fassbender starring as an assassin is that his character is not someone that you’re rooting for. He’s no James Stewart for that matter. But anyway, if there’s a word to describe the film, it would probably be pretentious.
The Killer‘s globe-trotting plot is self-explanatory and is not remotely close to being a top-tier David Fincher film.
DIRECTOR: David Fincher
SCREENWRITER: Andrew Kevin Walker
CAST: Michael Fassbender, Charles Parnell, Arliss Howard, Sophie Charlotte, and Tilda Swinton