Part-Time Review: The Killer (2023)


If you ever wondered what it would be like if a director like David Fincher ever took on a generic “hitman has a hit go wrong” Jason Statham like actioner, then look no farther than The Killer. Swap out Jason Statham for Michael Fassbender, add a dose of Dostoevsky’esque psychological conflicts, slow down the pace akin to something like Day of the Jackal, lather on Fincher’s trademark style and if you caught all of those references then you’ve pretty much seen the film. If that mashup interests you, as it does me, then you’ll find this film fascinating.

It's hard to dispute the craftsmanship on display here – there’s always something interesting and well shot constantly on screen. What I would dispute is the need to make this film for Fincher. I’m glad we got to see his take on this kind of film, but aside from style and pacing, there’s nothing thematically or narratively new here. I love how Fincher shoots an extremely brutal fight scene a little over halfway into the film and the unique score he puts over several key parts – but the elevated style feels a bit at odds with the rather conventional storytelling. It felt like there was just something lacking by the time the credits rolled.