David Fincher’s latest gets mixed reactions out of Venice

David Fincher’s The Killer is getting mixed reactions following early screenings at the Venice International Film Festival.

The review embargo for David Fincher’s latest, the hitman thriller The Killer, has broken at Venice. So far, the film is earning mixed-to-positive reviews for what’s being seen as a less divisive movie than his last film, Mank, which perhaps struck some as a little too inside Hollywood (for the record – we loved it here at JoBlo). By contrast, this is supposedly a lean and mean movie that follows Michael Fassbender’s titular character as he tries to figure out why a contract has been put out on him. It’s based on a graphic novel by Alexis Solent. It marks Fincher’s first credited collaboration with screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker since Se7en (although he did an uncredited rewrite of Fight Club in ’99).

While it sounds like a pure genre piece, the reviews are quick to point out that the movie is much more about mood than action, with Fassbender’s bucket-hat-wearing assassin much more nondescript than typical on-screen killers like John Wick. He works out of a WeWork office and orders his gadgets from Amazon Prime. The Variety review states that it is more a movie about “waiting around to kill people” but doesn’t point that out as a negative, with them saying later that it’s a “it’s a minimalist nihilist action opera of procedure.”

By contrast, THR’s review states that it feels like a tongue-in-cheek spoof of James Bond movies and speculates that it could even be the start of a low-key franchise for Netflix and Fincher, although I wouldn’t hold my breath on that last part. One interesting thing is that the score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is said to be minimalist, with the soundtrack dominated by songs by The Smiths, driving home the depiction of Fassbender’s character as a kind of emo-assassin.

Here are some more reactions off Twitter:

Overall, The Killer sounds Fincher-esque for sure, with many comparing Fassbender’s non-stop narration to Edward Norton’s in Fight Club. It sounds like an unusual movie, which makes me happy as a fan. As much as I liked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl, and Mank, I’ve been eager for Fincher to do something really unusual that belongs up on the shelf with Se7en, Fight Club, The Social Network and Zodiac. This may or may not be that movie, but even still, a new Fincher movie is always an event.

Now, if only Netflix would greenlight Mindhunter Season 3!