September 26, 2011

Movie Review: Killer Elite

Killer Elite is a movie that should have been so much better than it is. With a movie top billed by Jason Statham, Robert Deniro, and Clive Owen, there is no reason for this movie to be what it is. Now, considering that these three deliver completely serviceable performances the blame for the movies failure has to fall on an overly complicated and half baked screenplay. Seriously, there is no actual flow to anything In this movie, and aside from a few nicely staged action sequences it is completely forgettable.

Said to be based on a true story, it feels anything but. I have to believe that if there is any truth to this, it must have been severely changed and truncated. The end of the film does point towards a lot of the information as not being known or releases, so the based on true story tag must be taken with a grain of salt. While I do not really doubt the truth that something of this was real, I suspect that a good deal of it has been made up and and extrapolated on based on limited information.

The movie opens with an nicely staged, pulse pounding action sequence that sees the hit man team of Danny (Statham) and Hunter (Deniro) doing a job that leaves Danny injured and questioning his chosen profession. He swears to leave the life behind, but as we all know, of you make a living killing there is no leaving it and the past always has a way of finding you.

Scarcely a year late, Danny receives notice that Hunter has been kidnapped by an exiled oil tycoon who will give him back in exchange for Danny taking a job. The job is to take out the British SAS operatives responsible for the deaths of three of his sons. Without even really thinking, Danny takes the job. Not for the payday that comes with it, but to get his friend and mentor Hunter released.

Well, Danny heads off to England where he goes about gathering the necessary intel. This gains the attention of a group of retired SAS called the Father Men. They send their guard do after Danny. This guard dog is Spike (Owen) and he is as directionless a character as there is. He goes about tracking Danny and trying to stop him, but we never really learn why. Sure, Danny is targeting other SAS operatives, but where is the real SAS? What does this shadowy organization actually do? Does it matter? Without a reason to care, why bother?

I don't know... Killer Elite just never really connects. The action always feels cold and clinical, the story jumps all over the place, and the characters have no heart, no sol, land no reason to be.

I went into Killer Elite looking for a big action brawl, a spy versus spy sort of thing. What I got was a politically motivated slog with questionable morality, characters that are less than interesting, and a story that begins nowhere and goes nowhere. The trailer seemed to be selling a story of Statham versus Owen with Deniro hanging in the balance with a using rock soundtrack. I wish we had that movie. I am sure it would have been more interesting, or at last more fun than what we got.

The best bot of the movie was the opening hit sequence, with a second being Deniro in a nice little hand to hand fight bit. Story wise, I could really care less. I was not interested or intrigued by it. Perhaps if we actually had some characters to wt into, nut there is really nothing to hang onto.

It is far from the worst movie I have seen, but it is a disappointing one. It is not the fun actioner that was advertised. I have no connection to this one, and the week attempt to throw in some heart with the love interest played by Yvonne Strahovski does not really fill the bill, they just felt like tacked on bits to try and inject an emotional core into a movie that is otherwise as cold as ice.

Not Recommended.

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