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“The Killer” (2023) Movie Review – “Stick To Your Plan. Anticipate, Don’t Improvise.”

For years, Netflix has been putting out absolute stinkers and unleashing them into award season. Their lazy attempts to legitimize their own production company has been hilarious and flawed. Even grabbing esteemed filmmakers along the way such as Martin Scorsese and David Fincher. Though Scorsese aided their agenda by directing the marvelous “The Irishman”, many other films have fallen flat on their faces. Including, in my opinion, “Mank” which became Fincher’s contribution. Since, Netflix has become a hilarious to many.

Here we arrive at “The Killer” which is once again directed by David Fincher and stars Michael Fassbender. The film follows a detached hitman after a job does not go quite the way he expects. Fincher has become an award season darling throughout his career. Even though “Zodiac” was robbed of many Academy Awards. Seriously, I’m so fucking pissed about that. “The Killer” is a great change of pace for his career and the Netflix agenda.

Michael Fassbender as “The Killer”

The film is solely in the perspective of The Killer, though he is never given a name. He is the void of human emotion and he is completely detached. Cold and calculated while still making small mistakes to show that he is still susceptible to error. Michael Fassbender has been a shell of himself for the last decade. He is now officially cool again. Completely losing himself in the role and becoming a believable sociopath who translates his lack of human emotion to labor. The narration provided by Fassbender is entertaining as it reads like an audio book with impeccable voice acting. The other acting provided is by skilled character actors such as Tilda Swinton and Charles Parnell who all contribute to the overall pulpiness in this movie.

As far as how this movie looks? It looks incredible. David Fincher has always directed amazing looking photography and he continues that theme with “The Killer.” Fincher brings his dingy, green yellow look to this pulpy action thriller while providing intense symmetry and composition. I really hope the Academy at least looks at this as a contender to be nominated for Best Cinematography. Along with how it looks, the sound design and editing are also top notch here. There is a specific scene that blends perspective by weaving music coming through headphones in and out. It could easily be clunky, but this example was masterful sound editing.

David Fincher must have had an absolute ball directing this movie. It’s rare that he can flex his style in the action genre. Fincher makes the best of it and provides some of the best grounded action all year long. There is a fight scene that occurs midway through and it’s a blast to watch. Framed with an expert eye, but just two guys beating the absolute shit out of each other. It’s a crowd pleaser in many ways.

It’s rare, to me, when a movie can pull off a nihilistic tone and it not be cringey. I’m a very positive person. “The Killer” definitely provides that nihilism, but it’s done in a refreshing way. If you’re so detached and nothing matters to you, why participate in revenge? If nothing has a point, why make it a point to take vengeance and hurt people? It’s actually pretty well done in that manner. I thought it wrapped up very well and I was satisfied.

Overall, I had a great time with “The Killer.” It gave me my David Fincher fix while bundling it in a pulpy, action thriller with a killer soundtrack. Seriously, it’s nothing but The Smiths. Which is hilarious because of the memes used around their music. Fun performances are packed into this along with a vintage Michael Fassbender who returns to being cool. Fincher goes god mode on the action while providing technical greatness and prowess. It’s a fun watch with friends and cocktails. Perhaps order McDonald’s while watching.

My official score: It was great! I had so much fun!

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  1. Lucas DuVal

    November 20, 2023 at 3:36 pm

    Definitely a very fun movie. I will never look at a garbage man in my office the same again.

    • Garrett Harrelson

      November 20, 2023 at 3:40 pm

      That nail gun scene was so cool. Thanks for reading!

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