King of Killers (2023) Movie Ending, Explained – Was Karla’s death deliberate and not accidental?

King of Killers (2023) Ending

Kevin Grevioux brings Mortal Kombat to life with a cast of different assassins for one-on-one deathmatches, and his proficient direction significantly enhances the movie. King of Killers looks extraordinary, thanks to its well-choreographed and consistently intense action sequences. Films about assassins are prevalent in today’s cinema landscape. Considering that this marks his directorial debut and the plot remains enthralling, it’s worth noting.

The film boasts a star-studded cast, including Alain Moussi, Marie Avgeropoulous, Georges St-Pierre, Frank Grillo, and Stephen Dorff. King of Killers (2023) is based on Grevioux’s classic graphic novel, Darkstorm Comics. If you’re a fan of visceral action, this film delivers gruesome, violent scenes that are right up your alley.

A significant commendation goes to Frank Grillo, who elevates any film and portrays an intimidating villain in this one. He becomes even more impressive as the competition starts, adeptly ensuring that the intricate intrigues and betrayals are adequately depicted as planned. King of Killers has garnered unfavorable reviews, primarily due to its limited budget, which is perceptible in some CGI effects. But it may still be enjoyable for those looking for a fun ride. The plot revolves around Alain accepting a million-dollar contract to kill top assassins in Tokyo. Spoilers ahead.

King of Killers (2023) Plot Summary and Movie Synopsis:

The film introduces Marcus Garan as a part of a group of international hitmen. Marcus’s journey has been through a lot of peaks and setbacks. He has to use his assassin skills to get rid of a formidable target named Jorg Drakos, who wants to kill all the top assassins out there. Marcus Garan is a top and professional killer who works for a man named Robert Xane. Once Robert offers him a task, Marcus has no choice but to accept. It comes to the point where, even on the day of his wedding anniversary, he receives a task to complete. He is married to Karla, and they have a daughter named Kimberly.

Marcus is competent with his task, never disappoints, and never shows his face. Moreover, Karla never suspects that he has any connection to criminal activities. Marcus has always been able to keep his life as an assassin confidential. But on their anniversary day, everything takes a different turn. Marcus agrees to come back to celebrate their special day. However, the mission turns out in a way he doesn’t expect it to be and becomes the gravest mistake of his life. Right from the start, Marcus has been planning something romantic to surprise Karla and even acts as if he forgot their wedding anniversary, but only for the sake of the show.

He doesn’t text or inform Karla about the change of plans. Nevertheless, someone pretending to be Marcus sends a message to Karla, saying there is a change in plans. The change of plan is to lure Karla to the exact location where Marcus is busy doing his own agenda. Karla also sees Marcus wearing a peculiar mustache that he uses to hide his identity. She follows him, and as Marcus is involved in a gunfight with the Russian men he is tasked with getting rid of, she reaches the room’s entrance, where everything is happening. The moment Marcus opens the door, he witnesses his wife, the only woman he ever loved, taking her last breath.

Marcus feels helpless because he can’t protect her. He finds out that a bullet from one of the Russian men has gone through the door, which takes out Karla. Marcus is finally witnessing the consequences of the criminal life he has been hiding from his wife. Therefore, when he loses Karla, he makes a major decision to quit what he is doing. The mystery remains about who sent the deceptive message to Karla, after which she ended up at the restaurant where Marcus dealt with the Russian men.

No matter how much he wants to grieve for the loss of his wife, he has to take care of their daughter, Kimberly, for now. To his relief, Karla’s mother takes responsibility for Kimberly in Chicago at the moment. When Marcus starts experiencing sorrow for his late wife, he receives a message from a man named Roman Korza. He is being invited to Tokyo for a mission far from simple, mainly due to the substantial reward awaiting him upon success, which is 10 million dollars. Even though the pay is so significant that an ordinary individual would find it hard to decline, Marcus isn’t interested at all because all he can think about is Karla.

A still from King of Killers (2023)
A still from King of Killers (2023)

But things turn into an unexpected distressing point when he discovers that Kimberly has a terminal heart condition and needs immediate medical treatment. Roman visits Marcus to discuss the offer, and even though he doesn’t want to return to how he used to be, Marcus has to consider his daughter. He might lose another loved one if he can’t get money for her treatment. He decides to accept the task, visits Tokyo, and promises that it will be the last job he will do that involves killings. Marcus arrives in Tokyo and realizes six other assassins surround him.

Roman invites all those six other assassins and Marcus to compete. Whoever becomes the last standing killer will take home the prize. Aside from Marcus, there are also other killers: Dyson, Ren, Rick, and André. One killer ends up dead because he attempts to quit competing, as well as Asha, whom he meets in Chicago. It turns out that Roman has been working with the ruthless and most feared assassin known as Drakos. Roman is behind organizing the competition where the killers face Drakos one by one, and whoever manages to overpower him is crowned as the King of Killers.

King of Killers (2023) Movie Ending, Explained:

How does the competition start?

The twist of the competition isn’t revealed until they sign and agree to participate. The killers already know the consequences they will face when they attempt to withdraw, and they will end up like the other guy who initially quit and was killed. Therefore, they don’t have any other choice but to face Drakos. Each of them holds a different set of skills.

Since Asha has already met Marcus, she tries to seduce him, knowing that he recently lost his wife, but her real intention is to kill him. In her mind, the fewer killers there are to face Drakos, the more chances of winning. The others seem to remain calm and composed. Marcus advises her that her seductive tactics won’t work as he remains faithful to Karla’s memories deep within him, and it humbles Asha and reminds her of her boundaries at that point.

Who is crowned as the King of Killers?

They have a lucky draw where each of their sequences has a chance to face Drakos. Marcus is supposedly the first to face Drakos. But André initiates a switch with him, as he is self-assured that he can defeat him. André is strong, and Drakos is at a disadvantage when he faces him. However, he manages to turn the situation around by using traps or tactics to defeat André. The others are dissatisfied witnessing Drakos using unfair methods to kill André. The game setup is completely manipulated for everyone because they think that if they are unaware of the traps, how can they bypass them?

Everyone revolts and agrees to participate in the competition under the condition that Drakos can use his traps, but he will face all the remaining killers in an all-out battle. And because that is the only way Drakos can become the king he desperately desires to be, he agrees but not without asserting the last authority. Five killers remain, and he requests that they randomly choose one to be killed while the other four can attack him all at once. The conflict and fighting amongst themselves start. There is chaos, and no one can be relied upon; they must be vigilant.

Drakos starts selecting anyone he can find as his target, specifically choosing those who seem vulnerable or easy to exploit. Eventually, Marcus is the only one remaining. Drakos approaches him and faces off against him directly. As Marcus is about to turn down Drakos, Roman intervenes and closes the competition, declaring that Marcus is already the “King of Killers.” Marcus returns home with ten million dollars and successfully covers his daughter’s operation expenses. Kimberly is the only reason why Marcus has to participate in the competition. Because of his criminal records with different enemies, he also needs the money to secure his daughter’s future.

Was Karla’s death deliberate and not accidental?

When Marcus returns to Chicago, Drakos surprisingly visits him and tells him something that unexpectedly will change his life again. He discovers that Karla isn’t killed because of the Russian men’s bullet going through the door. It turns out that she is murdered by Robert Xane, whom Marcus has been working on for almost his entire life. Drakos provided CCTV footage that night as proof. Even though it is confirmed that Robert is the mastermind behind killing Karla, the reason isn’t clearly revealed. But there is speculation that Karla hinders Marcus in his job as a killer. Because Marcus once refused to take a task from Robert due to their wedding anniversary, Robert must see Karla as a disruptor and decide to remove her from the picture. 

However, there are some other possible factors behind why Robert killed Karla. The news makes Marcus gear up to confront Robert in order to uncover the truth. At the same moment, Drakos also tells Marcus that the prize Marcus won seems to have been given in haste. It shows that Marcus is not truly official as the ‘King of Killers’ because André turns out to be still alive. He is believed to be dead when his throat is cut, but he still survives. The chances that the entire sum will be taken from Marcus are likely, and a rematch might be coming. On the other hand, Marcus returns to seek revenge and aims to re-enter his killing business.

Read More: Fatum (2023) Movie Ending Explained: How did Pablo and Sergio cross paths?

King of Killers (2023) Trailer

King of Killers (2023) Movie Links: IMDb
King of Killers (2023) Movie Cast: Frank Grillo, Stephen Dorff, Marie Avgeropoulos
Where to watch King of Killers
Ashlee Manalang

Ashlee is fervently devoted to exploring the intricacies of films in great detail. She’s also psyched about discussing economics.