THE KILLER on Netflix is a new thriller by the Se7en team of director David Fincher and screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker. In terms of style, it’s more like Gone Girl. And yes, you will want to watch this one. Read our full The Killer movie review here!
THE KILLER is a new Netflix thriller that was released in movie theaters around the world in October and now comes the global Netflix release. For most movie fans, all you need to know is that this comes from David Fincher and Andrew Kevin Walker. In other words, the two who created the iconic serial killer movie Se7en (1995).
For this new Netflix movie, the subject is no longer finding a brutal serial killer. Instead, we experience the world of an assassin. Yes, as in the title character who is portrayed perfectly by Michael Fassbender. Fans of Fincher should be happy (I know I was) as this very obviously has all the marks of being a David Fincher movie.
Continue reading our The Killer movie review below. Find the thriller on Netflix from November 10, 2023.
Get to know a professional killer
Much like Fincher’s 2014 movie Gone Girl, the main character is also the narrator of the story. This means we know exactly what he’s thinking at any given moment. It’s fascinating and methodic. Also, it shows life as a professional killer without any of the glitz and glamour.
No fancy suits or hotels in the vein of John Wick. Instead, Fassbender’s killer is often dressed as a somewhat kitsch tourist. Not always, mind you, but he changes looks a lot and always blends in. I loved this as anything else doesn’t make sense for someone who needs the veil of anonymity.
Of course, The Killer wouldn’t be as interesting a movie, if we just saw him doing what he’s paid to do. That’s why the story begins when a job goes wrong. This has consequences, and instead of following his own code of remaining detached, he allows himself to go after any threat.
He could disappear. It’s clear he knows how. And it’s what he should do if he was to follow his own mantra. But he chooses not to. This is what makes for an intriguing movie where his own constantly repeated mantra sounds more hollow with each repetition.
He is no hero!
For the record, it should also be noted that everyone (including Fassbender himself) is making it clear that he isn’t a hero anyone should admire or aspire to be. The title character is a man with no emotional attachments to his job and no real sense of hope in life.
The Killer isn’t a cool person, but rather a character that should make you feel uncomfortable.
To me, it seems clear that the cast and crew don’t want any sort of Joker (2019) repeat, where people somehow identify with the title character. Sure, the hitman in this Netflix thriller is looking for revenge, but when you make a living from killing people for money, you will never have the moral higher ground.
What’s in a name?
We never get to know the name of Michael Fassbender’s character. He is simply “The Killer” in the same way that others are “The Brute” (Sala Baker), “The Expert” (Tilda Swinton), “The Lawyer” (Charles Parnell), and “The Client” (Arliss Howard).
While you will become familiar with quite a lot of the aliases used by Fassbender’s assassin, we never know what his actual name is.
Nor do we need to. Especially because we get something much better: His thoughts!
From the long opening sequence, where he’s out on a job, we hear his thoughts. Both as he comments on what he sees and why he does the things he does. It’s a fascinating insight as the man obviously has to be without scruples and push away any sense of empathy.
Michael Fassbender is The Killer
Again and again, we hear the same mantra as he’s working. This includes the words “Anticipate, don’t improvise. Trust no one. Never yield an advantage.” All words of wisdom when working as a professional hitman, of course.
But it also makes for a very small life with no real room for happiness or joy.
He has a fortune stashed away and can do whatever he wants. It’s just that he never enjoys anything except getting the job done. Also, one could argue that you can’t truly retire from this particular profession. It’s who you are and not “just” what you do. As confirmed by the title of this Netflix thriller!
Michael Fassbender is perfect in the title role. He is cool and focused, but we also get to see cracks in the proverbial armor. I also want to just mention one of the few characters with an actual name: Dolores. She’s portrayed by Kerry O’Malley (Snowpiercer) and is one of the few “normal” people, we come across.
Watch The Killer on Netflix now!
As already mentioned, this Netflix thriller was directed by David Fincher. He is one of my favorite directors, so I’ve been eagerly anticipating this movie. Especially as it was written by Andrew Kevin Walker, who wrote the screenplay for Se7en which is my favorite Fincher movie.
More recently, Andrew Kevin Walker also wrote the screenplay for Windfall. While I do tend to always enjoy his work, it’s just better in the hands of David Fincher.
It should, of course, also be noted that the screenplay was adapted from the graphic novel The Killer. This was written by Alexis “Matz” Nolentis and illustrated by Luc Jacamon. The same was the premise for Fincher’s Gone Girl – that it was an adapted screenplay – which this new thriller reminded me of. Mostly in terms of the pace and narrator.
Whatever this movie reminded me of (or didn’t), I enjoyed it immensely and highly recommend it!
The Killer is on Netflix worldwide on November 10, 2023.
Director: David Fincher
Screenplay: Andrew Kevin Walker
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton, Charles Parnell, Arliss Howard, Kerry O’Malley, Sophie Charlotte, Emiliano Pernía, Gabriel Polanco, Sala Baker
After a fateful near-miss an assassin battles his employers, and himself, on an international manhunt he insists isn’t personal.