This flat-footed Mélanie Laurent 'thriller' is barely worth the effort keeping on top of.
Requiem for a Killer is contrived and occasionally difficult to understand, but it barely matters. The improbably named Lucretia (Mélanie Laurent) is looking to end her career as a contract killer to spend more time with her daughter, but accepts One Last Job. She's sent to the Swiss Alps where she poses as an opera singer, set to perform the soprano part of Handel’s 'Messiah' at a prestigious music festival.
Conveniently, Lucretia is not just a hitwoman but a classically trained vocalist with a tone good enough to pass for a professional. Her real task is to take out one of her fellow singers, a Scottish baritone. His recent acquisition of a distillery has threatened plans to lay an oil pipeline that will mean a substantial financial hit to British Oil. So he must die.
Since this flimsy and poorly developed plot is just not enough, a second strand involving a counter-espionage agent is thrown in. Confused? You won’t be. Requiem for a Killer is so disengaging from the outset that it's barely worth the effort keeping tabs on what's going on.
If the plotting is lazy and the characterisation just as bad, however, even after seeing the film it would be impossible to describe any of the characters based on anything other than looks. A backstory involving Lucretia’s father is hastily shoehorned into the opening scenes and 'resolved' at the end, an emotional sign off that falls flat since we know nothing nor care about the principal character.
And while marketed as a thriller, the closest Requiem gets to being suspenseful is a botched poisoning whereby a laced wine glass gets unexpectedly passed around. It desperately wants to be a thriller, but if the wild implausibility doesn't let it down, the wafer-thin plot certainly does.
First-time director shooting their own script. Could go either way.
A bit of killer, no thriller.
Lazy and futile.