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Tuesday, December 5, 2023
December 5 , 2023

REVIEW: “The Killer” breaks through boredom

Michael Fassbender speaks at the 2012 WonderCon in Anaheim, California.
Michael Fassbender speaks at the 2012 WonderCon in Anaheim, California. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons

“The Killer” is a methodical ride that brings you into the mind of its twisted titular character. Its dry humor and confusing plot illustrates the pains of bureaucracy. Nevertheless, despite the protagonist traveling around the globe, the film missed its most important destination — the Netflix Top 10 list.

Director David Fincher’s newest thriller follows an unnamed killer (Michael Fassbender) after a failed assassination. The self-proclaimed emotionless killer tracks down his client after they attack his lover as punishment. Going to the ends of the Earth, the Killer will never stop his hunt for revenge.

Fincher’s unique directing is on full display from beginning to end. Jump cuts, which are quick transitions from one camera angle to the next, are rampant as the Killer is always on the move.

Intense close-ups and body-shots during monologues remind viewers of Fincher’s “Fight Club.” The fight scenes are gritty and exciting as Fincher shows every household object’s lethal capabilities.

Fassbender delivers a riveting performance, exposing cracks of emotion with subtle expressions in almost every scene. He portrays a control-obsessed killer growing tired of humanity with a skillfully executed monotone voice.

Fellow scene partners Tilda Swinton and Charles Parnell bring every ounce of emotion to their performance. Quick whips and dramatic pauses make scenes active as the characters dance between life and death.

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Humor in the most unfitting scenarios brings life to the dark film. Ruined monologues and silence interrupted by the Killer’s sophisticated cursing give a new dimension to the bleak character.

“The Killer” relies on life-threatening scenarios to keep the audience engaged. “How will he escape?” and “How is he going to kill them?” were the film’s main questions. However, the Killer is constantly successful with little to no sacrifice.

By the end of the film, audiences are left waiting for characters to be killed, not anticipating any consequences or internal conflict. This creates a painful pattern that turns the thriller into a death-fest.

Necessary plot-points are introduced in fast moments, leaving viewers confused and questioning the Killer’s actions because of easily missed information. The film’s ending brings the thrilling ride to a halting stop with more questions left than answers.

As the titular character harms everyday people just to reach a clueless boss, viewers get a direct look into the careless mindset of those who see the world as theirs to control.

“The Killer” presents no moral conclusion or ethical dilemma — only a mass killer itching to bring more harm. A slow-paced film, it instead capitalizes on its acting performances and gruesome deaths. Despite the perfectly-executed humor, this thriller misses the mark on making its protagonist’s journey worthwhile.

Rating: 3/5

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