This year has felt like another dull uninteresting year for film mostly. We got a lot of the normal goyslop and standard crap but, so far, we have gotten two interesting films, Barbie and now The Killer via Netflix.
David Fincher’s latest project features the always-great Michael Fassbender as the titular killer. It is apparently based on a French comic book (who would know? No one cares about anything from France!) and it is a seemingly simple story of a hitman on a hit that goes bad, who then gets betrayed and has to fight for his life against his former employers.
It’s a bit more than that though. If you are expecting a non-stop action thrill ride, you may as well leave. It does have bursts of violence and some action, but it’s really closer to a police procedural. Not unlike Zodiac, in that we are seeing a clinical day in the life of a professional killer. It’s not a typical day because things have gone wrong, but we see all the tactics, techniques, and procedures he uses to get through the world unseen. All the tricks of the trade so to speak. This is done in a way that makes it infinitely more fascinating to me than the roaring rampage of revenge.
The Killer starts out with his attempt to to snipe some 1% asshole in Paris, when an unlucky hooker steps right into his field of fire and gets plugged in a way she wasn’t expecting. He makes his perfectly planned escape even though the hit went awry, but before long it’s clear he already knows he is in trouble.
He makes his way to his safe house to find his girlfriend was beaten and raped (off-screen) when the clean-up crew came to get him. He takes this about as well as you’d expect. To paraphrase Kill Bill, there are consequences to breaking the heart of a murdering bastard.
Before long he gets on the ball to track down the two who broke into his home and raped his gal pal. At this point, he starts losing the perfect calm detachment he has been lecturing us about since the start of the film. He tracks down the middle guy who hires him out sets about the process of torturing him for info in a great scene. He then hunts and kills his way up the chain.
I wouldn’t call it a character study, but it almost is. As I said, it’s very much like Zodiac. If you like Fincher’s films you will like this one. I absolutely loved it. It’s not a big, over-the-top action thriller like Extraction or John Wick. It is a thriller with action, but don’t go into it thinking it’s The Gray Man. It is hands down my favorite film of the year so far and a fresh break from superhero killer movies like the Wick’s of the genre. Highly, highly recommended.
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