I’ve never been a David Fincher fan. I’ve tiptoed through his filmography, feeling a lack of revelation with each viewing.
It’s not a dismissal of Fincher’s directorial prowess, but rather a personal struggle to align with the distinct tone of his works. Even acclaimed films like “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Oppenheimer” posed a challenge for me this year. But, recognizing that perhaps there’s a genre I’m not ready for, I took a leap of faith with “The Killer.”
My fascination with Hitman games provided a unique lens for me to appreciate the film’s intricacies. The opening sequence, showcasing the meticulous planning of an assassination, was nothing short of amazing. The unraveling of a failed kill when The Killer accidentally kills a dominiatrix instead of the target and the subsequent investigation into those responsible for what happened to Magdala were executed with perfection. Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of the assassin was godlike—convincing, breathtaking, and possessing an unmatched presence.
The narrative delves into the mind of the protagonist, making me uneasy at times, yet gradually helping me understand his motives. Fassbender’s monologue brilliantly set up his character’s arc, and the decision not to kill the client felt justified, an inherent part of his nature. The handling of Tilda Swinton’s character, “The Expert,” showcased his cold, calculated approach, refusing to let her live that proved the point about his code of “Show no empathy.”
The film’s brilliance extends beyond its storytelling to its cinematography, complemented by a beautiful score and exquisite production design. The meticulously designed apartments, particularly the Killer’s house, add another layer of depth to the film. Along with it, the action choreography is brutal and uncomforting just as how Fassbender would be fighting someone twice his size.
Once immersed in the film’s unique zone, survival becomes easier. “The Killer” not only provided me with a certain level of comfort in Fincher’s tonal realm but also boosted my confidence in revisiting his other works. This newfound understanding and appreciation make it an invaluable experience for me.
“The Killer” deserves a resounding 5 out of 5 star rating. It seamlessly blends a captivating narrative, outstanding performances, and top-notch technical elements, making it a definite candidate for a rewatch. This film marks my entry point into a realm that previously seemed elusive, turning it into a truly worthy cinematic experience.