By Bob Grimm
David Fincher’s The Killer, starring Michael Fassbender as the title character, plays as if Fassbender’s cold and emotionless android persona from the Alien movies has found its way to Earth and is now a killer for hire.
Based on the French comic book of the same name, the film is a typical Fincher exercise in style in that it is a beauty for both watching and listening. (Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor, not surprisingly, provide the pulsing soundtrack.)
Much of the film’s dialogue is simply Fassbender’s narration as he describes the nuances of his occupation, including a play-by-play on an attempted hit gone wrong. That mistake leads him on an international trek to confront some folks who have done him wrong. Needless to say, if his Killer walks into the room, you probably aren’t walking out.
While this is mostly Fassbender’s show, Charles Parnell, Kerry O’Malley and, most notably, Tilda Swinton make up the supporting cast. Swinton has a few memorable scenes late in the film, handled in such a way that it is hard to picture anybody but Swinton playing the part. Arliss Howard also shows up late for an impressive face-to-face with Fassbender.
The film doesn’t have a bad shot in it thanks to Fincher’s amazing, watchful eye. Fassbender imbibes the movie with a real chill: His Killer is the scariest of bad guys, a soft-spoken, meticulous monster with no soul.
The Killer is now streaming on Netflix.