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Film ● Mini-Review: The Killer

Title: The Killer

Director(s): David Fincher

Screenwriter(s): Andrew Kevin Walker

Released: 2023

Runtime: 1h 58m

The Killer

● Based on a French comic book written by Matz and illustrated by Luc Jacamon, the plot begins with an unnamed assassin (Michael Fassbender) missing his target in Paris. Returning home to the Dominican Republic to find his partner/wife Magdala hospitalized after a brutal attack that was meant to be for him, he pursues those involved.

● This is not a fast-paced action-packed thriller. It is clear from the opening that the film deliberately takes a quieter approach. It is not slow, the pacing is measured and steady. It is not intensely suspenseful or “psychological” but there is always just enough tension to consistently hold the viewer’s attention. If the main character is not involved in action (in the sense that most people would use that word), then he is doing recon.

● The film is divided into 6 “chapters”, each dedicated to a target, with little dialogue and takes a somewhat noir-like approach. It is also quite cold and impersonal, a reflection of the character’s attitude towards his job, or at least what he tries to be. This is mitigated by voiceover narration which can be very cheesy when not done right but Fassbender does well.

● There is considerable use of wider shots for a “psychological” effect but, as already mentioned, it is not intensely psychological. Visually, there is a consistent and therefore noticeable style, but it is not highly stylized so it avoids being too pretentious. The film also relies on the quietness and the typical functional “suspense” score as a major contribution to give that effect.

● In an age of widespread surveillance, which the writer through the main character admits, it is difficult to see how he can get away with all of it. But still, despite that and a few plot conveniences, it is a well-produced film with steady pacing.

The Killer (Michael Fassbender)
The Killer (Michael Fassbender)

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