The big picture

  • No matter how you interpret it, The killer showcases David Fincher’s attention to detail and dark humor in a unique way.
  • Whether you view it as a well-made thriller or find deeper meaning in it as a reflection on cinema, the film taps into a unique wavelength of its own.
  • The more we let ourselves be drawn into it, the more The killer becomes visually exciting as it once again proves Fincher’s prowess as a director who can make anything shine.

One thing should be clear from the start: The killer will not be remembered as David Fincherthe greatest film of. At the same time, it’s still pretty awesome in its own right. Where it would seem damning with faint praise if discussing other directors’ filmography, even mid-tier Fincher remains something special in a way that grows on you. A bit like Michael Fassbender‘s idiotic but deadly assassin, his latest film is a bitterly funny film like few of his past works have been (the closest being missing girl) while bringing an almost obsessive attention to detail, right down to the point where its main character doesn’t even blink on camera, ensuring that this feels like solidly familiar territory. The film also manages to be different things to different people, which makes it interesting to deconstruct what makes it work so well.

The Killer poster
Image via Netflix

The Killer (2023)

After a fateful near miss, an assassin fights against his employers and himself in an international manhunt that he believes is not personal.

Release date
November 10, 2023

David Fincher

Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton, Charles Parnell, Monique Ganderton


118 minutes

Main genre

Action, Adventure, Crime

Andrew Kevin Walker

For those who first saw the film when it premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival, among a variety of other bloody and visceral visions, it is simply a well-made thriller that finds much of dark humor as he accompanies a ruthless killer as he walks. all over the world, clumsily adopting a series of false identities to get close enough to get revenge on the people who tried to eliminate him after his last mission went seriously wrong. For those who enjoy it less, the film is an elegant but dull work that doesn’t have much meat on the bone and is content to rely on Fincher’s directing prowess. To others who may be trying to reckon with this perceived lack of substance, they will argue that it is actually a meta-reflection on the nature of cinema and the perfectionism of achieving the best you can. difficult work. Whether you’re looking to approach the film from a more allegorical angle or just want to follow the dark journey that Fincher takes us on, this is a film that slides no matter how you approach it.

David Fincher’s ‘The Killer’ Is Awesome Any Way You Approach It

The funny thing is, whether you’re drawn to the metaphorical readings or just looking to get swept up in seeing a longtime filmmaker prove he’s still as sharp as ever, The killer This feels like one of the few films this year where it doesn’t really care what you think while working anyway. For every moment where you feel like you’re getting a glimpse of what Fincher thinks about his relationship with his work, a surprising gag or joke will cut through the fabric of the film itself. This offers what could potentially be something more substantial to chew on or simply serve as a light, playful rib that is in keeping with the rest of the film. These seemingly distinct elements are not mutually exclusive at all, and are in fact increasingly in service of the same effective wavelength on which the film operates.

The experience is then coldly direct at certain moments, while humorous at others, without ever getting too bogged down in any configuration about the direction in which it unfolds. Rather than feeling evasive, there’s a refreshing confidence in the experience that feels all too rare. While many modern films can feel like they have to appeal to a defined audience to the point that they’re just horribly robotic, The killer remains rather light while injecting moments of humor in a always delicious way. Whether you want to see it in a light like Wes AndersonIt is Asteroid City from the start of his year which saw him showing what he thinks of his own films or simply watching Fassbender briefly take on a formidable Tilda Swinton in one of the most sarcastic yet surprisingly melancholy scenes of the year, The killer is the type of film that can do both of these things with ease.

There may be one of the most brutal ballets of a fight scene that rivals the ambitious, exciting and clumsy of John Wick 4 just as he has plenty of his bloody wit to spare. While it was good that the film at least had some sort of theatrical release before its premiere on Netflix, it’s still a shame that it wasn’t released wider so more people could see it, because everything , from sound to visuals, in this particular sequence is heartbreaking. Of course, the connection between being a mercenary where you always have to toe the line and being a filmmaker beholden to a market that cares little for your work is definitely something to address as well. Every shot Fincher captures, whether following the action or laughing between those moments, gets to the heart of what visually exciting cinema can do. This would normally be something that is valued, but, much like its protagonist, it makes it feel like a part of the past that might soon disappear. However, at least he does it with as much flair.

‘The Killer’ Shows Fincher Remains a Stellar Director

Michael Fassbender in The Killer.
Image via Netflix

One element coming to complete dismissal of the other and vice versa does a disservice to the whole affair because the craft is impeccable no matter if you think he has more to say. The proposed readings are less competing than one might think. Instead, each feels more like it has the potential for a frightening sense of grace, no matter how you shift the balance of your focus. There is power in what Fincher does, even if taken literally, and the rest of everything else can also serve as a cinematic icing on the cake for those who wish to participate in a deeper analysis of his potential intentions. Style can simply be style or it can also become substance depending on the frame of reference in which you capture it. Whether it’s a meditation on the art of cinema or a tense thriller, no matter how one perceives each refraction, it’s proof that a great filmmaker can make anything shine.

The killer is now available to stream on Netflix in the US


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