Love of action required, attention span optional.
Sometimes, all a movie needs is a few action stars and a lot of shooting to entertain its audience. A strong plot is nice, but a secondary concern. Such is the case with Killer Elite.
Danny (Statham) is getting out of the killing game, but when his mentor Hunter (DeNiro) gets captured on a job in Oman, Danny must intervene to save him. The mission is to avenge the deaths of a sheik’s three assassinated sons – by assassinating the three SAS agents who committed them. There’s a catch, though; all of the deaths must look like accidents, and all must be accompanied by a videotaped confession. Things get tricky fro Danny when ex-SAS agent Spike (Owen) catches on to his trail and tries to stop him.
Killer Elite is a ridiculous movie with a plot that serves mainly as a vehicle for lots of knife and gun fight choreography, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. DeNiro is at his most charming in his few minutes of screen time, and Statham plays the same character he always plays to perfection. The script is laughable, but the chemistry between the two is enough to keep the film going.
That being said, those easily offended by violence, gratuitous or otherwise, might want to steer clear of Elite, no matter how overdone and entertaining the end result may be. One particularly graphic scene involves Statham and Owen battling it out in a hospital X-Ray room with no real reason or end result.
The most confusing side plot of the movie is that of an elite SAS secret organization called “The Feathermen”. Ironically, it could have been developed and clarified to make this a more unique film; instead, the origin and true purpose of the group is never quite addressed, and their fate is never determined. All we know is that Owen reports to them, and that they get to deliver the best line of the film (“You can call me MFWIC- mother fucker what’s in charge”).
Killer Elite is by no means a serious film – it’s a stretch to even call it a film. It is, however, one of the most entertaining popcorn flicks of the fall.
Starring: Jason Statham, Robert DeNiro, Clive Owen
Directed By: Gary McKendry
R, 116 min