Who doesn't love a good sniper story?
I caught up with The Killer on Netflix the other day. Loved it. It’ll probably become the video equivalent of comfort food in future for me. Which is weird when you think about. At least until you read this great bit in Esquire about The Killer and our love of snipers, or specifically, cinema’s love of a good sniper story.
All hail the return of Michael Fassbender. The Oscar-nominated actor and X-Men star is back on our screens after a four-year hiatus (drove racing cars, moved to Portugal, had a child) and, wow, what a statement rebirth! He fills almost every frame of David Fincher’s The Killer and is dominant throughout as a top-tier assassin with a penchant for yoga, telescopic sights and the dulcet tones of Morrissey: the soundtrack, filtered through our protagonist’s headphones, is non-stop The Smiths, from opening to closing credits.
Fassbender’s no-name hitman opens the film in grand style, in an empty Parisian office block, where he assembles a powerful sniper’s rifle, performs some impressive downward dogs and ruminates on the central philosophies that have made him, thus far, the best in the business.“Popeye the Sailor said it best: ‘I am what I am!’”he purrs in what becomes near non-stop narration.Later he adds, beaten out in a rhythmic mantra, the more direct, “I. Don’t. Give. A. Fuck!”
“My hope is that someone will see this film and get very nervous about the person behind them in line at Home Depot,” he said. And yet, really, on all available evidence, courtesy of scene after scene of the killer at his most poised, professional and downright suave (knows cars, guns and kung-fu) this is a film that looks consistently and lovingly at its mesmerising anti-hero and quietly coos, like Patricia Arquette’s Alabama in True Romance, “You’re so cool!” And that’s because he’s a sniper.