Eavesdropping at the Movies: 404 – The Killer

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David Fincher’s precise, controlled direction is a perfect match for Michael Fassbender’s precise, controlled performance in this lean but complex story of a botched assassination, revenge, and the hitman’s attempts to reassert precise control over his life.

We discuss the world in which The Killer is set and the way in which its title character operates, lives, and sees his place within it; the functions we see in its premise of a murderer-for-hire bored with his job, be it a critique of capitalism or a satire on work; the many names he assumes and what we take from the fact that they’re all drawn from sitcoms; the extraordinary audiovisual craft that we’re used to seeing from Fincher and thankfully not inured to; how the film uses noir and thriller tropes and where it might overplay them; the film’s obsession with process and procedure and why Mike likes playing it more than watching it; and more.

The Killer is a brilliantly conceived and assembled thriller filled with cinematography and editing to admire, and a lot to chew on despite its slight appearance. See it.


With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.



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