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"The Killer" 4K Review

Something has gone wrong with David Fincher. Despite a career filled with seminal work like Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac and The Social Network, the past decade has consisted of just two made-for-Netflix features - 2020's airless successful Oscar-bait Mank, which somehow made filmmaking, the production of Citizen Kane and Gary Oldman tedious (it took me three sittings to slog through its not excessive 2h 11m runtime) and now The Killer, an empty and meaningless waste of two hours which reunites Fincher with his Se7en screenwriter, Andrew Kevin Walker, adapting a graphic novel.

 Michael Fassbender stars as the titular Killer and we meet him as he's on a stakeout in Paris, camping in an under construction WeWork office across from his target's apartment. He's been waiting nearly a week for the mark to arrive and passes his time doing yoga and nattering on endlessly in voiceover. When the target finally arrives, he somehow manages to botch the hit and has to flee the scene as cops swoop in, disposing of his weaponry as he makes his way to the airport.

He arrives in the Dominican Republic and heads to his beach home, but immediately spots something is amiss. Arming himself, he infiltrates his abode finding signs of struggle, damage and blood. Turns out his girlfriend, Magdala (Sophie Charlotte), was home and brutally tortured by two assailants, but managed to survive and escape. Now that it's personal, the Killer proceeds to hunt down those responsible for this attack.

That's pretty much the whole story and while I'm normally a fan of the Unstoppable Killing Machine On A Vengeance Quest movies (hello, John Wick series), The Killer somehow manages to do everything wrong beginning with making the Killer a massive screwup. We learn of all the storage units filled with supplies and weapons he has across the country and watch him use various techniques and ruses to gain access to his targets, but the execution (no pun) is almost always haphazard and nearly fails repeatedly. He messes up an attempt to torture information out of one person causing them to die before they talk. He executes a cab driver who didn't do anything other than get the fare to take the goons to his house while allowing someone more culpable to survive.

There is one good scene between the Killer and Tilda Swinton's character though my enjoyment was tempered by the fact I have told the joke she tells and had to wait a minute for the punchline to arrive. The acting is good from her and Fassbender, but so what? The script thinks it's being deep when it's just self-impressed. 

Of course if The Killer hadn't botched the hit in the first place, none of this would've happened. That's what happens when you listen to The Smiths and use lamer aliases than Sam and Dean on Supernatural did.

 Score: 4/10. Skip it.


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