"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Sunday, November 12, 2023

The Killer: Highly Recommended with Questions

It's rare to see a movie about an assassin that surprises you.  But The Killer does that, and in more than one crucial way.

Before I get to the most crucial part, and warn you about spoilers, here are two things I found especially enjoyable that don't entail spoilers:

1. The 1hr 58min movie comes in chapters, in different cities, with different settings and pacings.

2. Indeed, the first chapter consists entirely of the assassin's thoughts.

Now let's get to the spoilers ...

[Spoilers ahead ... ]

The Killer -- most of the major characters have no names, and go by The Target, The Brute, The Expert -- but The Killer, very well played by Michael Fassbender, is extremely efficient, but misses his first mark through no fault of his own... Or is that right?  The Target is a man,  but when the The Killer finally sees him, The Target is with a woman.  The Killer waits for a clear shot, but the woman is still in the room, and she takes the bullet when she unexpectedly approaches The Target.  The Killer's failure to deliver sets the whole rest of the story in motion.  But why didn't he wait until The Target was alone?  Maybe because he was being pressured to finish this job already.  But if that was the reason, maybe he should have mentioned this to us, the audience, in his later musings.

The other, even bigger question, comes at the end.  Why did he not kill The Client, as he easily could have done?  This certainly leaves open a reason for a sequel, but I'd like to know The Killer's logic in this movie -- especially because sparing The Client violates The Killer's principle of no empathy.

And while we're at it, The Client has a name -- Claybourne.  So does The Lawyer, Hodges.  So in addition to one being spared but not the other, why were these two characters given names, but not the others?

Questions like these only show how much attention I've invested in this movie, which is exactly what the makers of the movie want.  The movie was directed by David Fincher, who directed House of Cards and all kinds of other great works.  The story was derived from a graphic novel series.  So there's lots of material here for a continuing story, and I'll watch it as soon as it starts streaming on Netflix.

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