First things first: Have we decided that “John Wick” is a genre of movie now? Possibly we have; possibly a critic asking if “John Wick” is a genre is the equivalent of a stand-up comic complaining about airplane food. There are now, in 2023, a whole lot of movies that are “John Wick, but _______.” John Wick, but with women. John Wick, but a loser. John Wick, but with Nicolas Cage as the world’s greatest chef hunting down the people who kidnapped his prize truffle pig.
That last one is pretty good, actually, and I have no doubt that many of the others are too. But they are all John Wick, the 2014 movie in which Keanu Reeves plays a assassin who goes on a rampage of revenge against his fellow assassins because they killed his dog, and so are all the actual John Wick sequels and spin-offs that have come out since then.
Anyway: Have you ever wanted “John Wick, but you have to read his Substack?” Because if you have, The Killer is the movie for you.
The entire first act of The Killer consists of Michael Fassbender waiting around to kill somebody while quietly voice-overing his #lifehacks and thoughts on contemporary life. You can take a look at the movie’s “quotes” page on IMDB, on which there are maybe one or two actual dialogue exchanges, and the rest are simply labeled “The Killer:”
Each and every step of the way, ask yourself, "What's in it for me?" This is what it takes. What you must commit yourself to. If you want to succeed. I find music a useful distraction. A focus tool. Take comfort in the fact that seventy to eighty percent of wrongful convictions are the direct result of eyewitness testimony. Avoid being seen, which is impossible in the 21st century. So at least avoid being memorable. Keep calm, keep moving. God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. The harder you work, the luckier you get. Grind while they rest and you will live like they dream. Forbid empathy. Empathy is weakness. Weakness is vulnerability. Emptiness is loneliness. And loneliness is cleanliness. And cleanliness is Godliness. And God is empty. Just like me.
Some of these are made up. But it never stops. The entire movie is filled with the soothing sound of Michael Fassbender whispering his affirmations into your ear: Success. Determination. Commitment. Keto. Persistence. Bucket hat. Postmates. Then, occasionally, some killings.