Written by / 9/23/2011 / No comments / , ,

KILLER ELITE

title: KILLER ELITE
year: 2011
cast: Jason Statham, Robert DeNiro, Clive Owen, Dominic Purcell, Aden Young
rating: ***1/2

Why do we care if Jason Statham’s mentor, Robert DeNiro, is held hostage? After all, we only get one short conversation between the two about bad Mexican food, and this sets up their entire friendship… So when DeNiro’s captured by a Middle East leader, who for "ransom" sends Statham – a former S.A.S. agent who’d sworn off killing after the prologue’s botched mission – to kill three men who killed each of his sons… We do care, somehow. Not necessarily about the characters, but each calculated assassination as our tough protagonist, along with two other agents, go from one target to the next – making each seem like an accident. All the while they’re being stalked, and eventually pursued by, Clive Owen as a member of a secret British military force. It’s an action flick that never lets up, and each step along the way has something new to anticipate. Statham has the same intensively brooding expression throughout, working fine for his purposely one-dimensional maverick. Flashbacks to a picturesque relationship with his gorgeous Australian girlfriend, who’s eventually at risk when things wind down, fill a romantic aspect but without taking away from the good stuff. And there’s plenty of it. While fans of Robert DeNiro might be disappointed by his lack of screen time… although he has a few moments to himself… it’s all boils down to Statham versus Owen, who, it turns out, might be fighting for, or against, the exact same thing. All in all, it's a good old fashion action movie that doesn't take itself too seriously; the biggest drawback being the shaky-cam during fight scenes, but this device is commonplace in all modern thrillers. And while the three lead actors get the credit, Dominic Purcell, as Statham's boisterous henchman, adds an unpredictable vitality to the bloody proceedings.
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