Release Date: Nov 10, 2023
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Michael Fassbender as The Killer
Sophie Charlotte as Magdala
Monique Ganderton as The Dominatrix
Tilda Swinton as The Expert
Arliss Howard as The Client
The Killer (2023), a psychological action film written by Seven collaborator Andrew Kevin Walker, marks the return of visionary filmmaker David Fincher to theatres. The Killer is a crime drama based on the French graphic novel of the same name (Le Tueur) by Alexis ‘Matz’ Nolent and Luc Jacamon. It follows an assassin on the run.
David Fincher hasn’t directed a movie since 2020’s Mank, a Gary Oldman–led Hollywood drama that was likewise distributed primarily through Netflix. Fincher has established himself as a compelling auteur with a body of work that includes some of the darkest and most intriguing installments of modern filmmaking.
The director of such chilling hits as Fight Club, Zodiac, and The Social Network brings us a story that could have been lifted from the pages of a graphic novel in The Killer (2023).
Critics have been generally kind to Fincher’s The Killer, with many noting that the director’s expertise is responsible for the film’s “nearly always sublime” visual style.
Variety complimented the film’s opening sequence but said the remainder of it didn’t measure up: “In The Killer, David Fincher is hooked on his own fixation with technique, his mystique of filmmaking-as-virtuoso-procedure.
“It’s not that he’s anything less than great at it, but he may think there’s more shading, more revelation in how he has staged The Killer than there actually is.”
The Wrap remarked on the surprisingly amusing quality of the script, saying: “If The Killer is chilly-to-the-touch and anchored by a quiet and intensely physical performance by Fassbender, the filmmakers nevertheless wring an awful lot of wit from this frigid world.” Meanwhile, Deadline applauded Fincher’s approach to the subject, calling The Killer “a terrifically lean and violent action movie that might be his most purely satisfying yet.”
According to a press release issued by Netflix, “after a fatal near miss, an assassin battles his employers, and himself, on an international manhunt he insists isn’t personal.” The protagonist of Matz’s original plot is an anonymous assassin who fans follow for a total of 12 albums. Two new volumes of the collected and translated graphic novels were released. Expect Fincher’s latest film to feature his trademark flair and grimness, as well as an intense look inside the mind of a serial murderer who is losing his hold on reality.
The film’s score was composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who have worked with Fincher before. The director has worked with each of them before, including on The Social Network and Mank. Late in August, the first frenzied trailer for The Killer was released, ushering viewers back into Fincher’s stylized universe, where Fassbender’s anti-hero is doing his best to “stick to the plan.” Packed with rapid cuts and impressive images, the teaser sets the mood perfectly for some nail-biting action alongside what looks like a darker segue into the mind of a hired murderer.