My Cultural Diet

409 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info). Star ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links, which support Opus.
The Killer

On paper, watching a nameless hitman methodically clean up all of the loose ends after a hit goes sideways sounds like a pretty boring way to spend two hours. And it is… until it’s not. Those expecting the sort of stylized wall-to-wall action that’s usually associated with “hitman” movies will likely be disappointed here. But kudos to director David Fincher and star Michael Fassbender for creating a film that becomes increasingly engrossing as the titular assassin goes about his bloody business with cool detachment, determination, and inspirational aphorisms like “Anticipate, don’t improvise” and “Fight only the battle you’re paid to fight.” (All delivered via internal monologue, natch.) At times, it almost feels like a heist film as you try and figure out how he’s going to overcome each new dilemma. It doesn’t hurt that The Killer has some occasional flashes of dark humor, such as the hitman’s reliance on Amazon and the gig economy to do his job. A lesser director might try and beat audiences over the head with that as social commentary — as in: modern society requires us to live like an amoral, yoga-practicing, Smiths-loving hitman in order to survive — but thankfully, Fincher avoids that pitfall.

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