Netflix’s ‘The Killer’ has Michael Fassbender’s unnamed assassin travel the world for his job and then his streak of revenge. It starts with a botched job in Paris, following which he returns home to discover that his girlfriend was attacked by two assassins. He follows one of them to New York, where Tilda Swinton appears in the role of the Expert. Killing her is different than his previous kills for the Killer because they share an unexpectedly nice conversation at a high-end restaurant. Considering how much Swinton’s character hypes the place and the food, the viewers are bound to wonder if it’s a real place. SPOILERS AHEAD
The Waterfront is a Real Location, But Not in New York
In ‘The Killer,’ Fassbender’s character lands in New York after getting the lead about the Expert from the address that was mentioned in their employer’s records. It is unexpected for him to see an assassin like him living in the suburbs and enjoying gourmet food at the local restaurant. Only, the restaurant isn’t local to New York in real life. The Waterfront is in St. Charles, Illinois, and is a part of Hotel Baker.
Hotel Baker is a luxury hotel that has been running since 1928. It offers “state-of-the-art amenities, exceptional dining and lounge venues, and a scenic riverside setting that’s second to none.” It is used for weddings, conferences, parties, and other events. It also has a rose garden and an outdoor patio. It is next to Fox River, which also appears in ‘The Killer’ when the Killer and the Expert leave the restaurant and he kills her, exacting his revenge.
In the movie, the Waterfront is presented as a fine-dining restaurant that the Expert frequents, so much so that the staff there knows her well. In real life, Hotel Baker has a special wing called the Waterfront Ballroom & Patio, which was renovated pretty recently. The room offers exceptional views, overlooking the river, and is designed to provide “an ideal setting for more intimate” occasions.
Clearly, the place received a makeover for ‘The Killer,’ which required a different aura from the place. It’s an important location in the movie because the Expert feels at home here, which is why she is so surprised to be confronted by another assassin, especially when she doesn’t expect to be attacked in a public place. Because the Expert doesn’t receive a lot of screen time, we don’t have much time to get to know her. The Waterfront becomes even more important because of this scenario because it offers a sort of neutral territory for the two assassins to have a conversation, which the Expert tries to lengthen because she knows that once they step out, things will not turn out so well.
Later, the Expert and the Killer walk out of the restaurant, and he leads her to the river, where she tries to stage a fall and get him by surprise. But he anticipates the attack because even after she tries to break the ice with her jokes and offer of food and alcohol, he doesn’t trust her at all. Thus, for him, the Waterfront becomes just another location where he executed a job, though it was much more personal than his other ones.