David Fincher is a name that is instantly recognisable to any film fan and needs no introduction. His name is the reason The Killer has appeared on a lot of the most anticipated films of the year lists. Fincher has always been a methodical and purposeful filmmaker. So, combining that with the story of a methodical and purposeful assassin. Who after an assassination attempt that went unexpectedly wrong hunts down everyone involved in the hit. The paring is the definition of a match made in heaven. The opening chapter titled Paris/The Target is a true showcase of Fincher’s directing and Michael Fassbender’s acting. The scene follows the titular Killer as he awaits his target. The film follows the killer over prolonged days. We see how the killer blends in, what his heart rate needs to be before taking the shot, and the stretching he does to make sure that he is at the top of his game. While the film has narration throughout chapter 1 highlights the rules the killer follows to make sure he is an effective assassin. We are with this opening kill for at least 20 minutes and over the 20 minutes we get a taste of every reason why I love this film kind of like getting a taster platter.
It is effectively paced. The slow and methodical pacing allows us the viewer to enter the mindset of Fassbender’s character and understand every decision he makes going forward throughout the entire film. But a true standout in the opening is the incredible sound mixing. There is a moment where the killer is listening to music in his right ear so when we cut to a first-person shot of his perspective the music only plays in the right speakers. While it’s a small moment it is that attention to detail that makes the sound so tantalising to the ears. We hear every neck crack, every twist in the silencer being attached to a pistol. Every decision is made to engross us in this world. In addition, there is the great score by long-time David Fincher collaborators Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross that leads to a sound stage that is like no other. You could easily write a 5-page essay on why the opening is an effective piece of cinema but encapsulates why I love this film. The opening chapter is the appetiser for a delicious 5-course meal that over 2 hours is a pure delight and proves why David Fincher is one of the best filmmakers working today.
Written By Robert Drever