Excerpt: The Film When a guy's resume includes two Crank -fests, two Expendables movies, and three installments of Transporter , it's hard to expect anything too high caliber. Sorry Jason Statham; we're just looking for a high kill count and a few cool action scenes. Statham delivers in Killer Elite , but the movie gets a slight kick in the pants (literally) from quick appearances by Clive Owen and Robert De Niro.
Excerpt: It's easy to make assumptions about Killer Elite , which comes off in advertisements as just another generic Jason Statham vehicle (that's an Audi 8, right?). In actuality, this "true story" is a smart spy thriller with a 1980s setting and a 1970s action sensibility. Danny (Jason Statham, The Bank Job ) and Hunter (Robert DeNiro, Raging Bull ) have been contract killers long enough to know when its time to call it quits.
Excerpt: If Killer Elite , based on the novel The Feather Men , teaches us anything it’s that spies and rogue SAS agents like to look in rear view mirrors. Oh, and they sit in cars all day waiting for people. Sure, that’s sort of the point, staying out of sight and all that, but Killer Elite rarely pushes forward with any legitimate tension from those scenes.
Conclusion: Making his feature-length debut, director Gary McKendry delivers an entertaining espionage crime-caper with the usual thrills and action, but the movie also tries to include an intriguing plot and good characterization into the mix. With Jason Statham, Clive Owen and Robert De Niro in the leads, 'Killer Elite' is, in the end, an easy, guilt-free way of killing a couple hours.
Summary: I'm beginning to wonder why Jason Statham vehicles have titles. It would be easier to just franchise the brawny Brit's name. The Transporter ? Jason Statham . Revolver ? Jason Statham 4 . Crank ? Jason Statham 6 . The Mechanic ? Jason Statham 15 . I get the appeal, I do; no matter how awful Crank and High Voltage strike me, I understand the allure of mindless, hyperkinetic action.
Excerpt: Jason Statham and Clive Owen have both excelled at being entertaining in even their dumbest projects, from Statham's unfettered cool in something like Death Race to Owen's smarty-pants charm in something like The International . But none of it is any help in Killer Elite , a movie so sloppy and lowest-common-denominator that it's even got one of those lazy late-career Robert de Niro performances that, sadly, are a pretty sure indication of awfulness these days.
Excerpt: Statham plays Danny, a former member of Britain's Elite Special Air Service. When his former mentor and close friend Hunter (De Niro) is captured, Danny takes it upon himself to fulfill the conditions of Hunter's release. His mission: kill three government assassins behind the murder of an oil sheikh's son.
Excerpt: Killer Elite, an adaptation of Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ controversial bestseller The Feather Men , purports to be based on actual events, chronicling the sinister machinations of a shadowy military organization. But this clumsy action movie feels too generic to be real. The film attempts to add an element of sophisticated sociopolitical commentary to the typical Jason Statham head-busting shoot-’em-up, but only ends up draining it of visceral thrills.
Summary: Based on a ‘factional’ (i.e. untrue) account by Ralph Fiennes’ ex-SAS (true) cousin, and featuring an astonishingly inappropriate cast, Killer Elite is a perplexing proposition. Gritty and clichéd, fast-paced and downbeat, it’s like every Jason Statham film ever made and none of them all at once. As usual, The Stath plays a principled hitman dragged out of retirement for One Last Job™.