dir: David Fincher
This isn’t to be confused with the legendary John Woo flick that introduced the world to the glory that is Chow Yun Fat, and the idea in movies that you could have a protagonist shoot hundreds of people before going to his eternal reward…
Now, of course, everyone gets to do it, but back then, I assure you, it was new, novel, fresh. Hong Kong fresh.
This The Killer is about a killer (Michael Fassbender) who kills people for money. Not for sexual gratification or anything so crude. It’s a purely financial transaction, which he tries to deliver in a professional and efficient manner.
He talks to us constantly, in his head, as he repeats his bullshit mantras about never having empathy or being precise or whatever, and sticking to his own rules, plan instead of improvise, be ready for every eventuality. Except he can’t even stick to his own rules, a lot of the time.
The voiceover is tiresome, but I think it’s meant to be tiresome. Without it, we’d have very little to go on. The killer rarely talks, and when he does, his words are clipped, as if almost painful.
Again, while he comes across as flat, I think it’s deliberately flat. His style is the lack of style he deliberately cultivates. There is no looking cool in a tailored bulletproof suit or swinging around wildly in elaborately choreographed sequences with flashy weapons. The one extended fight scene we get is brutal, close-up, and doled out with whatever household weapons come to hand.