The Killer

The Killer
Original title:The Killer
Director:David Fincher
Running time:118 minutes
Release date:10 november 2023
After a near-miss, an assassin battles his employers and himself in an international manhunt he insists is nothing personal.

Sabine's Review

The Killer is a thriller adapted from the comic book series Le Tueur by the tandem Matz for the screenplay, and Luc Jacamon for the illustration. The graphic novel describes the adventures of a solitary hitman who coldly executes his contracts, without scruples or regrets. The particularity of this series lies in the absence of dialogues. The reader is immersed in the killer's interior monologue, his moods, his thoughts, his memories. David Fincher discovered this comic book in 2007. Knowledge of thois comic book influences one's opinion of the movie. This is my case, having particularly appreciated this series of 13 albums, published between 1998 and 2014. The review is spoiler-free.

This film noir is divided into six chapters. It takes up the principle of the comic book by plunging us into the psyche of this killer. The plot comes partly from cycle 1, the main theme of which is revenge. Matz and David Fincher share a common inspiration: Le Samourai by Jean-Pierre Melville. David Fincher reunites with Andrew Kevin Walker, screenwriter of Seven, and rewriter of The Game and Fight Club. They adapt the comic to the current era with its technology, connected watches, its purchases via platforms like Amazon. If the scenario retains cynicism, it nevertheless loses part of what made the strength of this comic book, its questioning of human nature, the pessimistic vision of society and the human soul, the unveiling of social and political hypocrisies. This could have made this film a great film.

David Fincher's direction is as usual excellent, precise, methodical, like the character of the killer. He films violence without complacency. But this thriller is more a film about waiting, watching, stalking, than an action film, with the exception of a memorable fight scene with the Brute. Here, no gadget, car or James Bond costume, the killer blends into the crowd, dressed as a German tourist. The Photography Director, Erik Messerschmidt (Mank, Mindhunter) designed an identity for each city where the killer operates. Paris is bathed in a steel blue color. The sound work done by Ren Klyce, who has collaborated with David Fincher since Seven, is impressive. The sound design takes us into the killer's head, with his voiceover, or the music he listens to concentrate, then suddenly switches to the real world when the point of view changes. The music composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross makes you feel the tension of the killer.

The success of the film also lies in the remarkable interpretation of Michael Fassbender. The actor trained for ten weeks to be credible as a killer, handling weapons with dexterity. Through his attitude and his blue eyes gaze, the actor, who played the android David in “Prometheus”, and Magneto from the X-Men saga, composes an icy assassin and embodies the banality of evil.

After watching this film, I recommend reading cycle 1 of the series The Killer, reissued by Castermann.

The Killer
Directed by David Fincher
Screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker
Based on The Killer by Alexis "Matz" Nolent, Luc Jacamon
Produced by Ceán Chaffin
Starring Michael Fassbender, Arliss Howard, Charles Parnell, Kerry O'Malley, Sala Baker, Sophie Charlotte, Tilda Swinton
Cinematography : Erik Messerschmidt
Edited by Kirk Baxter
Music by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Production companies : Plan B, Boom! Studios, Panic Pictures
Distributed by Netflix
Release date : November 10, 2023 (Netflix)
Running time : 118 minutes

Seen on October 13, 2023 at the Cinémathèque de Paris (salle Franju)

Sabine's Mark: