Billed as a neo-noir action thriller, The Killer is a two-hour long monologue with minimal action and dialogue – and it will be in select theaters this week, and streaming on Netflix soon after.
The movie follows a contract killer on a journey of revenge after the woman he loves has been assaulted. He uses all of his skills to try to get justice against everyone and anyone he thinks is involved. Told in six different parts, almost like chapters of a book, The Killer goes from person to person to get the revenge he feels is due.
But haven’t we seen this story before? Someone hurts or threatens the loved one of a contract killer or someone with “special skills” and we see them go on a killing spree. From John Wick to Taken, Nobody, surely it’s played out over and over again. But the difference in the previous versions is that those ones are full of action, and keep you on the edge of your seat. The Killer seems to want you to come in with a full coffee to make it through the movie – and it’s not just the story that does it.
The Killer doesn’t really even get started until almost thirty minutes into its two-hour run time. Instead, we have the killer (Michael Fassbender) monologuing in his head about his job and how he gets it done. Again, this is something we’ve seen portrayed better in shows like Dexter or You, and in a much more effective way.
The dialogue throughout the movie is as deep and thought out as the aliases the killer uses throughout the story – albeit, those aliases may be the only laugh you’ll get in the movie. How no one second guesses as he hands over his identification that says his name is Sam Malone, George Jefferson or countless other characters from pop culture may be one of the biggest missed opportunities in the movie.
The movie also only uses the women in characters as plot devices and not a single one of them is throughout or actually given more than two dimensions. No, The Killer would not pass the Bechdel test. From a love interest who is assaulted and her only concern is protecting him and seeing him again – other than a name that’s her whole storyline. A secretary whose only purpose is information and The Expert who likewise, just barely has answers and can throw back a few drinks. Flat, conversations only about men and not complete character building.
If you make it past the first half hour and are still awake, the movie does give some interesting and startling information on just how easy it is (and affordable) to get a key fob copier. Maybe this isn’t information that should be so easily shared or put in a movie.
The Killer will be released in select theaters on October 27th and will be streaming on Netflix on November 10th.
About The Killer:
After a fateful near-miss, an assassin battles his employers, and himself, on an international manhunt he insists isn’t personal.