Review of Killer Elite (2011)

10 Oct

Killer Elite (2011) is an action/thriller film, loosely based on the 1991 novel The Feather Men.

Directed by Gary McKendry, whose short film Everything in This Country Must was nominated for an Oscar in 2005 and this is his feature-length debut.

Starring: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro, Dominic Purcell and others.

The plot of this movie is a bit more intricate than I had expected, the misleading trailer made it look like Jason Statham and Clive Owen bashing the shit out of each other the whole movie, but that is not the movie at all. I doubt I can explain the plot without confusing myself, so my version is that De Niro is kidnapped because he was in Little Fockers and to prove he has realized the fault of his ways Statham is brought in to kill some ex-SAS guys. And then Clive Owen appears and all kinds of shenanigans ensue.

Robert De Niro isn’t actually in the movie a whole lot, but when he is, he’s awesome. Watching this I realized how perfect he would be for the Death Wish remake, he’s about the same age, looks like an ordinary man and the subway scene could be easily, if out of context, a scene from a Death Wish movie.

Statham, of course, plays the same character as always, but I forgive him. And I do, just because, I only recently started liking him. Why? Because I finally accepted that, yes, he might be the only current real major action star in the sense Arnold and Sly used to be. And I miss that so much.  Haven’t seen someone do a front flip while strapped to a chair. Also he’s really good at balding.

Clive Owen is, on the other hand, a completely different, more modern action hero. Where with Statham you’re pretty sure he’d easily kick your ass if you met him in person. Owen represents how modern action heroes are still with six-pack abs and all that, but more lean and handsome. And Owen might be my favourite actor of this type doing these movies in the recent years, I thought Children Of Men and Shoot ‘Em Up were both incredibly cool movies. And in this one he’s just bad-ass, stealing every scene he’s in. In case you’re wondering about his glorious moustache, the movie is set in 1980-81. Also he has a glass (or just badly damaged) eye. Despite all that he’s not the villain of the movie and that is clear pretty early on and you could just as well put the focus on his character and make a similar movie.

Dominic Purcell’s huge handlebar moustache was pretty damn impressive as well  and that guy is fucking huge himself.

Yeah, it had its cheesy moments, but actually I expected more and what I got instead was some actual plot.

The fight between Owen and Statham in the hospital was great and you could tell what is happening, which is not so common in modern action movie editing.

Overall, it’s not a great movie, but it’s entertaining and kicks ass, I enjoyed it. If you want non-stop mindless action, you’ll be disappointed or if you want super interesting and original plot and character drama, this is not for you. But if you want some old-school action that’s not too dumbed down, check this out.

Knock knock. Who's there? Reuben. Reuben who? Reuben my eyes 'cos I can't believe how ugly you are!

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