Friday, October 27, 2023

The Killer - Review

If you follow the pattern of every other film wowing audiences, director David Fincher’s newest outing should be nothing short of fantastic. Fortunately, The Killer more than meets that description. The gleefully cold, wildly entertaining, and surprisingly funny film takes the often imitated bloodshed of its revenge narrative and imbues it with influences from across the globe.

Solitary, cold, methodical and unencumbered by scruples or regrets, a killer waits in the shadows, watching for his next target. Yet, the longer he waits, the more he thinks he's losing his mind, if not his cool.

For starters, it’s an absolute pleasure to see Michael Fassbender back in a film worthy of his talents. For a few years there, he was seemingly stuck is movies that didn’t measure up, to no fault of his own of course, to the immense presence he can bring. As the unnamed killer of Fincher’s latest, his calculated, seemingly emotionless gaze perfect captures the mindset of this seasoned assassin. And as the facade does begin to fade, the pieces of humanity still left start to peek through as the descent in vengeance goes further and further. It’s a great role and an even better performance.

Fincher has such a distinct style to most of his films. The Killer returns to the scuzzy, dark world that he loves to explore. The use of narration from Fassbender paints to a history here for the character, but never revealing too much at the same time. That same narration provides quite a few laughs, far more than expected for a film marketed the way it was. It’s a very dark sense of humor, but it’s effective (for most people). 

All in all, Fincher has another winner here. It’s a pretty simple set-up, but the execution across the board is pretty stellar. Fassbender gets to flex his acting chops in more ways than one, a welcome change from the last few years. Fincher gets to prove that his last outing was just a slight misstep, and he’s still one of the best directors we have working today. Though it’s marketing and presence on a cinematic stage may be lacking, this is a can’t miss film, and one everyone should seek out when the time comes. 

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