A deadly assassin fails in one of his missions, which triggers an attack on his family. Infuriated, he goes on a revenge spree spanning international borders.
This is the crisp synopsis of The Killer, a film now streaming on Netflix.
In this blog, I have explained the full story of The Killer. I have blended the narration with simplified explanations of certain actions.
Moreover, since the target is to shed light on its ending, this article is simultaneously filled with the same.
Also, I have added questions that you may have had while watching the movie.
Lastly, the protagonist is nameless so, I have referred to him as ‘The Killer’ throughout the blog.
Be prepared for a long read and a massive number of spoilers.
The Killer Detailed Story and Ending Explained
An assassin known as ‘The Killer’ goes to Paris for his next assignment and waits at the location for days for the target to arrive.
When his patience runs out, he calls his handler and asks him for clarity.
He says he will wait for another day and if things remain the same, he will leave the place.
However, in the night, the target finally arrives in the hotel room in front of the assassin’s building, just as expected. He is accompanied by a woman, probably an escort.
The Killer gathers himself and repeats his words of wisdom before finally taking the shot. And he misses as the woman accidentally comes in front of the target, becoming a false victim.
Sensing the blunder he has committed, The Killer quickly packs his stuff and leaves the flat. He grabs a rentable bike and rushes before someone comes looking for him.
Once he gets off, he throws the helmet, gloves, and other articles into the water body by a bridge.
The assassin then enters a washroom in a nearby market to disguise himself. He shaves his beard and scrubs his body before putting on another set of clothing.
Notably, he doesn’t forget to sanitize the sink.
He boards a taxi to the airport. At the entrance, he pauses for a bit to slyly throw his gun in the dustbin.
Once again, he sanitizes the revolver before burying it forever.
One might think why did he not throw the pistol in the river earlier and take the risk of doing it at a busy place like an airport.
I feel he wanted to have the gun with him till the time he was sure of his departure from France, just to be on the safe side.
A particular incident happens while he is in the passport verification queue. The Killer sees a couple of cops talking to the counter person with a sniffer dog.
He gets nervous, thinking that they might be talking about the earlier shooting. Therefore, he quietly exits the queue and goes to the washroom to gather himself.
A moment of composure gives him the courage to deal with the situation. He goes out and gets himself verified under the name of Felix Unger.
Thereafter, he calls Hodges (his handler) to inform him about the mishap. He frets over The Killer’s failure and talks about making amends with the client as soon as humanly possible.
Just like the last time, The Killer disconnects the call before Hodges can finish.
He again goes to the restroom and destroys the sim card alongside the mobile phone.
On the flight to Miami, The Killer outwardly maintains an air of confidence, concealing the escalating paranoia within.
A fellow passenger’s prolonged gaze becomes a source of unease, prompting The Killer to heighten his vigilance.
Upon reaching Santo Domingo, under the alias Archibald Bunker, he tails the scrutinizing observer from the plane, opting for an extra day of surveillance in a nearby hotel.
If the guy in question was really following him, he would also cancel his journey, which doesn’t happen eventually.
At the hotel room, he puts a glass on the door handle and a steel utensil at its bottom to catch anyone entering without permission.
Nothing happens the whole night and the next morning, he boards the plane home. Upon landing, he gets into his already parked car outside the airport.
As The Killer arrives home, a haunting discovery awaits him—a shoe sign on the mud, accompanied by several cigarette butts.
A premonition of trouble propels him towards the house. Inside, the scene is one of chaos, with belongings scattered in disarray and a palpable tension hanging in the air.
Blood on the shattered window glass intensifies the dread, prompting a desperate call to his brother-in-law for answers.
Racing against time, The Killer rushes to the hospital. The narrative takes a somber turn as he enters a room to find his wife, Magdala, grievously wounded and resting on a hospital bed.
The atmosphere is charged with emotion as Magdala’s brother, Marcus, reveals the brutality of the attack.
Two assailants, a man and a woman, subjected her to unspeakable violence.
Marcus, struggling to articulate the extent of the assault, hints at the profound brutality inflicted upon Magdala.
She, resilient amidst the horrors, managed to injure the male attacker and escape through a window into the nearby jungle.
The chilling details unfold, with Marcus sharing information about a green taxi (with a light on top) possibly linked to the assailants.
The calculated nature of the assault suggests a connection to The Killer’s failed assassination attempt.
Going by the talks, it is very likely that Marcus and his sister were aware of The Killer’s profession, which involved keeping quiet if anyone came asking for him.
The protagonist promises Marcus that nothing of this sort will ever happen again.
Later, when Magdala regains her consciousness, she tells him that she didn’t utter a word about him to the attackers.
Also, it was their love that gave her hope amidst the violent onslaught.
The Killer returns to his house and digs out his hidden pack of weapons from the garden. He prepares himself for revenge.
His first task is to find the Taxi described by Marcus. Some rounds of the city bring him to Classico Taxies that hone a green color with a light on top.
He chooses nighttime to get into the company’s small office, from where he accesses their data about taxi bookings.
The investigation narrows down to a driver named Leo Rodriguez, whose recent fare aligns with the timeline of the assault on Magdala.
Quickly, he starts shuffling among the files kept nearby and obtains Rodriguez’s photo.
The next day, we see him using the alias of Oscar Madison to send a courier to a lady named ‘Dolores.’ She is the secretary of Hodges. Why does he send it or the context is not yet revealed.
Before I tell you that, let’s finish Leo’s story.
The Killer waits outside the company’s office for Leo to start his day at work.
Once he is up and running with his taxi, The Killer gets rid of his car and surreptitiously boards Leo’s taxi as a normal passenger.
He pulls out the gun and points it at Rodriguez. The latter realizes he is in trouble and begins handing out all the valuable items has got.
However, The Killer is only interested in his big fare from three days ago.
The driver narrates how he boarded a scary man and a Q-tip-like woman from the airport.
He took them on a round trip to a private property across the jungle and waited an hour for the duo to come back.
Leo also says that he wanted to leave but the passengers didn’t give him the option to say NO. When they returned after sunset, the man’s leg was bleeding.
He dropped them at the airport. According to him, that was the end of it. Leo asks The Killer if he can smoke and also requests him to let him go.
However, a bullet from The Killer’s gun suddenly makes its way into his head and Leo goes quiet forever.
Vengeance-filled assassin’s next stop is New Orleans, United States, where lives his handler, Hodges. He uses the name Howard Cunningham to travel to the country.
But before that…
Who is Hodges?
Hodges was a law professor during The Killer’s student life. He was the one who persuaded him to quit studying law and start squirting it.
By profession, Hodges is presently a Trade Attorney in the film who assigns contract killing tasks to The Killer.
After landing in New Orleans, the protagonist goes to one of his storage facilities. He takes a gun, some other articles, and swaps his van’s number plate.
From a grocery store, The Killer purchases a large Dustbin and other cleaning equipment. All of it helps him camouflage his appearance as a cleaner, which would eventually allow him entry into the building where Hodges’ office is located.
The protagonist then checks the security around his office and plans accordingly. He sneaks behind a FedEx delivery partner to avoid getting caught on the CCTV camera.
The large dustbin immediately establishes his job inside the building. Now, why FedEx, and how was he so sure about the courier company’s knock at Hodges’ office?
You must remember, before meeting with Leo, The Killer sent a package to Dolores. Though the company offered him overnight delivery, he chose the two-day delivery option.
He had it all neatly planned. With the FedEx agent entering the professional building, he got the chance to avoid security attention.
Now, he even boards the elevator alongside him. And once he is on the desired floor, The Killer observes the courier boy’s actions.
He measures and calculates—the number of seconds it takes for the entry door to close.
This precision sets the stage for his seamless entry into Hodges’ office upon the delivery agent’s departure.
Dolores is startled to see an uninvited visitor. He puts her at gunpoint to gain access to Hodges’ cabin.
The attorney is equally surprised by his sighting and couldn’t see any reason for an exposure of this sort by the assassin. Dolores is then forced to tie his boss to the chair.
Hodges asks her to stay calm, trying to comfort her when The Killer makes her tie herself to the waterpipe in the bathroom.
He returns to ask Hodges for the client’s details. But the latter instead tries to calm him down and suggests he go phantom for a while, living a lavish life with all the money he has earned to date.
The Killer destroys his laptops and while Hodges continues denying having anything on the client, he astonishes him with three intrusions on his body using the Nail Punching Machine.
In an immediate reaction, the lawyer starts bleeding and falls onto the floor. This is after The Killer gives him one last chance to save himself.
After a few seconds, Hodges dies, which leaves the protagonist in shock. He had hoped for him to survive for at least 6-7 minutes post the nail puncher’s antics.
Dolores begs him for life, offering in return the details he is after.
The Killer cleans the scene perfectly before leaving the premises alongside Dolores. He uses the large dustbin to store Hodges’ dead body and take it outside.
He drives to his flat in the same van. When they reach their destination, he goes inside the house to open the garage door.
This allows Dolores to stay alone in the car for a brief minute. She tries to get rid of the hand wrap, screams, and yells, but to no avail.
Inside, she helps him find out about the people he is after, including the two attackers, using the data files obtained from Hodges’ office.
Though everything was there inside the files, only Dolores knew how to navigate through them.
She gives The Killer all the desired information using which he comes across three addresses and one name.
The client, Claybourne, lives in Chicago while the two sub-contractors reside in St. Petersburg and New York.
When they’re done and preparing to leave, The Killer pushes Dolores from the stairs before twisting her neck.
She dies instantly.
He then disposes of the bodies at different places while also dumping other items that could potentially help trace him.
Since he does away with the van, he now rents a new vehicle for his voyage to St. Petersburg in the name of Reuben Kincaid.
He sees three men working out together at the address where he is supposed to find one of the attackers. A Pitbull can also be seen alongside.
It means two of them are outsiders.
Therefore, he waits a few meters away for them to leave. Meanwhile, he purchases eatables, sleep helpers, and liquor, among other things from a supermarket.
The triplet leaves in a car in the evening, followed by The Killer. They get off at a casino and a visible limp in one of the three men assures the assassin of his target.
A few hours later, the two men drop the third at his house. Now, it is the turn of The Killer to make a move.
As soon as the dog sees him across the fence, she starts barking non-stop. However, with the sleeping pills mixed in the pieces of meat, The Killer feeds the Pitbull a recipe for a long yawn.
Once she has fallen asleep and quietude envelops the neighborhood, he enters the house.
The Television is on and he can sense his guy is inside the shower. Though The Killer is careful, a sudden push from behind puts him off guard.
A long combat ensues between the two, landing blows on one another. Eventually, The Killer shoots the man to finish his third target.
Somehow, probably because of all the noise, the Pitbull wakes up and comes running behind the injured protagonist, who only manages to escape by a whisker.
Afterward, before leaving, he lights a kerosene bottle and throws it at the house to put it on fire and remove any evidence of his intrusion.
The Killer’s next stop is New York, where he travels as Lou Grant.
Once in the city, he rents a car using another name, Sam Malone, to reach the specific address.
He waits till evening to get a sight of his target. It takes almost a day to see a woman, who looks like a Q-tip, walk out of the house into a car.
The Killer follows her and finds her final destination to be a restaurant. Despite it being a public place, he confronts the lady at the eatery.
She panics initially, but a flash of the gun leaves her no option but to stay put. Both engage in a conversation, reflecting on their actions.
She asks about Hodges and the Floridian and talks more about herself. The Killer, on the other hand, remains quiet for the most part.
She has several drinks before exiting the place, followed by her nightmare.
In a quiet location, as they take the stairs to go underground, she twists her ankle as her heel breaks. Naturally, the lady asks for The Killer to offer her a hand.
However, instead, the man shoots her. It was because he knew it was a trap. When the lady falls to the ground, dead, we can see a knife in her other hand.
Had The Killer gone near her to help, she would have slashed his guts.
His next target is Claybourne, the client, who lives in Chicago. He is a wealthy businessman.
Outside his home, The Killer notices a bodyguard put a gym bag with ‘Baliquinox’ branding inside his car.
He immediately searches the term and finds it to be a gym facility. He then locates its nearest branch on the phone.
When the car leaves, he sneaks inside the parking lot and tries to open a back entrance door. But it is secured with a digital lock.
To get it unlocked, The Killer orders a ‘Fob Copier’ from Amazon. He then walks to the Gym and purchases a week’s trial as Robert Hartley.
Further, he transfers all his money from his American account as George Jefferson to his Caribbean account to be on the safe side since this time he is dealing with an ultra-rich man.
It is another step in tying all the loose ends.
The Killer buys a gun from a local dealer after which he collects his Amazon package. Now, he is all set to step inside the Gym.
Once there, he slyly snatches a digital key from one of the cleaners and goes straight to the restroom where lockers are located.
Claybourne is there with his trainer. After they leave, The Killer uses the digital key to open his locker and grabs his digital key card, which would give him access to the back entrance of his apartment building.
Quickly, he duplicates the card using the Fob Copier and puts the original one back inside Claybourne’s locker.
Later, in the night, The Killer uses the duplicate card to enter his building, then the floor, and then finally his suite.
Claybourne is on a call when he sees him flashing a gun. Surprised, he disconnects the call and asks questions regarding his origin.
The Killer, interestingly, says that he wanted to show him how easily one can get to him despite such advanced security and a whole lot of bodyguards.
When Claybourne finally recalls his connection with the assassin, he tells him that whatever he did was to avoid the trail and any possible blowbacks.
Moreover, his actions were based on Hodges’ advice since he was fairly new to the game.
The Killer makes a strange decision to leave Claybourne alive with a fierce warning for the future. He doesn’t kill him.
In the last scenes of the movie, we see him return to the Dominion Republic. He serves coffee to his wife at their home.
A big question is…
Why Did The Killer Not Kill Claybourne?
When he got rid of everyone, who was even a touch related to the attack on his wife, including Leo, Dolores, and Hodges, it is natural to ask why he left Claybourne, the client?
He was the root cause of the whole problem but The Killer decided to let him off with a warning.
In my opinion, he gave him the benefit of being the client. Mostly, people who order such contract killings are only interested in the target’s death.
They pay money and their role is over. Rest is taken care of by other people in the chain.
So, while Claybourne did trigger the execution, he had no idea about the rest. Hodges suggested he clean the trail so that fingers don’t point at him after the failed attempt.
Moreover, Claybourne, even if you stretch your imagination, only wanted to finish the guy who missed the shot.
He never intended to harm his wife.
Hodges assigned the sub-contractors the task to go to The Killer’s house. But eventually, it came down to them who badly beat up Magdala.
Had they not been so cruel, maybe The Killer would have let it go.
However, I strongly feel that he didn’t touch Claybourne because he realized his own mistake of missing the shot.
The client had all the right to get angry and remove the trail.
Another point of view can be that Claybourne was rich and well-known. His death would have forced the cops to launch an intense investigation.
Eventually, he would have been caught.
My last theory is that The Killer had already experienced a satisfactory revenge once he got rid of the subcontractors.
Claybourne was the last on the list. The Killer’s hunger was already satiated by then.
Why did he kill Dolores?
She was killed because The Killer considered empathy a weakness. If he had let her go, it would have meant giving up on his principles.
Why did The Killer Kill Leo Rodriguez?
He blamed him for bringing work home (literally). Leo drove the attackers to his house, which became the connecting point between his wife and the duo.
Moreover, Leo was the first one on his list. His murder had to do with the hot and fresh anger brewing inside him. The Killer was too infuriated back then having seen his wife in a cruel shape.
It all came down heavily on Leo.
Maybe, just a theory, the driver could have denied taking them back to the airport, seeing the big guy bleeding.
This may have softened The Killer’s fury.
What is Michael Fassbender’s name in The Killer?
Interestingly, he doesn’t have a real name or at least we are not treated to his birth name in the movie.
The end credits describe Fassbender as ‘The Killer.’
Nevertheless, here are the nine aliases his character uses in the movie:
Felix Unger, Archibald Bunker, Oscar Madison, Howard Cunningham, Reuben Kincaid, Lou Grant, Sam Malone, Robert Hartley, and George Jefferson.