Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Killer Elite

I’ve been wracking my brain for more accurate titles for Killer Elite…maybe Killer Not-So Elite, Killer Amateur, or Killer Movie Clichés perhaps. With that said, I assume you can tell where this review is going.

Director Gary McKendry assembled a nice cast but just couldn’t mesh them and the script together. I admit when I saw the trailer for the first time and saw Jason Statham, Clive Owen, and Robert DeNiro I was excited and expected to be pleased. I wasn’t expecting gold, but at least silver here. However Killer Elite doesn’t qualify to stand on the podium.

Based on a book “The Feather Men” written by Ranulph Fiennes (2nd cousin to the actor with a similar name) this movie is not a remake of the 1975 film with the same name. The name refers to a secret society of men who have a “feather-light touch” in manipulating political events around the world. With not reading the book myself I can’t tell you how much of a role these men play in it, but with this film they are merely a background figure.

Statham trying to his best not to gush like a little girl in the presence of greatness....DeNiro

The movie focus’ on a Danny Bryce (Statham) and his team of mercenaries. A team that includes Hunter (DeNiro), who is also his mentor, Davies (TV’s Prison Break‘s Dominic Purcell), & Meier (Aden Young). After a job where Danny is wounded, he decides he wants out. The problem for me here is that this scene is riddled with clichés seen time and time again in action movies. He wants out but there’s nothing given to make you believe it. Bleeding and wounded he mumbles the old “I’m done, I can’t do this anymore” line. Bottom-line, nothing original. Anyways, the movie then flash-forwards one year to have more clichés. Danny is now in the middle of where ever by himself and a new love interest who doesn’t know his past. To expedite things, here’s the short version….Danny gets dragged back to killing, people die, & Clive Owen’s ex-SAS member character Spike hunts Danny and his team. Oh and the new girlfriend played by TV’s Chuck‘s Yvonne Strahovski finds out his past. I’m sorry but Strahovski was miscast here as a hay throwing farm girl. For one she looks too beautiful for what she is doing here and she doesn’t seem to fit.

When it comes to the acting, you get what you expect in action films…below par. Statham just does his usual tough guy routine. He really hasn’t varied his acting much in these films. Personally I recently re-watched The Italian Job and was pleased there. Plus The Bank Job was another good one displaying his other skills other than the typical tough guy act. DeNiro, well is DeNiro, he makes his presence known whenever he is on-screen and does well with almost every script he gets. For me the main draw to this film was Clive Owen. I love him as an actor and he doesn’t disappoint here. Sure he gets some weak lines in a few scenes but he more than makes up for it in charisma and passion that he brings. It takes a bit before we see him on-screen and the film takes off from that point. Easily he is the strongest performance in the film. On the flip side would be Purcell’s Davies. I just couldn’t get into his character which McKendry gave a good deal of screen-time.

The thing that bugged me the most about the film was that for a group of men that kill for a living, they were real soft a lot of the time. I was repeatedly miffed when there were scenes where characters performed the ultimate movie cliché. The one that gets me the most and this scene was almost duplicated a couple of times is when Danny has Spike at gun point to only let him go and tell him don’t follow me. Can you guess what happens?! Of course Spike follows him. Ugh.

Overall I was let down with this film and don’t recommend viewing till least it comes to DVD. I was set to give this film either 1 1/2 or 2 pitchforks but Owen raises it to 2 1/2.


Posted on January 9, 2012, in Devil's DVD Disappointment and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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