A huge number of documentaries premiered on Netflix this week, leading to a reduction in fictional content.
In fact, The Killer is the first of the very few fresh arrivals I am reviewing. The dark, suspenseful thriller revolves around a uniquely built revengeful tale of an assassin.
Based on Alexis Matz Nolent’s novel of the same name, will this crime movie succeed in delivering the right dose of sensation? Find out in my review.
The Killer Synopsis
An assassin turns rogue when his family is targeted after a failed assignment. His only goal is retribution, for which he traverses international boundaries, following his lifelong professional principles.
Directed by David Fincher, it stars Michael Fassbender (The Killer), Tilda Swinton (The Expert), Charles Parnell (Hodges), Arliss Howard (Claybourne), Kerry O’Malley (Dolores), and others.
The Killer: Positives
The film crafts an intimate portrayal of an assassin, delving almost firsthand into the psyche of the protagonist known only by the alias ‘The Killer.’
It masterfully unveils the intricate mental conditioning he undergoes while on his missions, emphasizing strict adherence to his personal code.
From the single-minded pursuit of objectives to a deliberate avoidance of empathy, The Killer epitomizes an unapologetic executioner’s mentality.
Matters get complicated when he fails a task and suffers deadly consequences from the client. This turning point changes the narrative on its head, putting revenge at the forefront.
The Killer’s initial emphasis on a strong foundation is intriguing and alluring. At the same time, it comes out as a double-edged sword, which we will discuss later.
You will like the way a purposeful carpet is laid for the movie to unfold. I liked the narration because it isn’t pretentious or conventional but evocative.
The film’s dark vicinity forces it to ditch daylight scenes. But it triumphantly proves the decision right when succinct layers of a disturbed yet satisfied character start interacting with you.
You connect with him, admonish him, and feel repulsive. Still, a part of you is swayed by his reasoning.
Furthermore, although The Killer’s storyline is straightforward on paper, it is convoluted cinematically, keeping you invested in resolving the threads.
Surprisingly, there are not many one-on-one dialogue exchanges in The Killer. Out of two hours, I think we barely get twenty minutes of conversations.
On the flip side, it helps the movie avoid unnecessary drama.
Interestingly, in a first, I saw a protagonist without a name (I think it was worth mentioning).
The thrilling screenplay is accentuated by the subtly roaring background score.
As the story progresses past its initial hour, the film seizes every opportunity to captivate, ensuring a riveting experience.
Overall, I think it is an astonishing revenge saga, given that you get comfortable with the narrative.
How are the Performances?
Michael Fassbender plays the titular role and holds you by the ribs till the very end.
One of those actors who attract appreciation, Fassbender blends screen-smartness with his superior craft to indulge in a smeared character.
Yes, the guy he portrays is not at all virtuous. In fact, far from it. Even then, he ensures people watching him find slight bits of likeability in The Killer.
How does he do it? Vocal intonations, unrelenting mien, and non-gregarious expressions, in my opinion, are his strongholds.
The Killer: Downsides
Initially, the film maintains a sustained, quiet suspense that sets an anticipatory tone, hinting at imminent events.
However, from an alternate perspective, this slow buildup might come across as uneventfully bland; for over fifteen minutes, action is notably absent.
Undoubtedly, it is a really good, raw setup, which will surely attract eyeballs. However, I am adding it as a rider for a set of people who may not like it as much.
Moving forward, The Killer and his wife or girlfriend’s relationship, which forms the base for vengeance, could have had a better upbringing to connect with the viewer on an emotional level.
I am not asking for drama or too many cliched flashbacks but just one heartfelt conversation would have done the trick.
Should You Stream or Skip Watching The Killer?
From my end, The Killer is a satiable watch. You can go for it.