Tuesday 24 January 2012


Starring Jason Statham, Robert De Niro and Clive Owen, the mercenaries gone rogue thriller is out now on DVD and Blu-ray. Watch the trailer and read my review, next...

A year after retiring from his career as a hired hitman, Danny (Jason Statham) is pulled back in when his friend and mentor, Hunter (Robert De Niro), is help captive by a vengeful sheikh. Tasked with killing a group of SAS agents before Hunter can be set free, Danny discovers that an elite group of operatives led by Spike (Clive Owen) are set on stopping him from completing his mission.

The year is 1980, when men were men and men wore moustaches. Jason Statham is playing his usual role as a tough, gruff, stubbly man who occasionally likes to kick people, and Robert De Niro is playing a former Oscar winner who clearly fancied the paycheck and a free trip to Australia his surrogate father figure who likes to point guns at people. Supposedly based on a true story that was recounted in Sir Ranulph Fiennes' 1991 book The Feathermen, it's clear that on top of Fiennes using some dramatic licence in his book so have the scriptwriters, meaning that Killer Elite is one ridiculous film.

It's exactly what you'd expect a Jason Statham starring version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to be like, with men yelling at each other and running around with guns. These are movie spies, double-crossing each other whilst travelling the globe and keeping a close eye on one another from nearby rooftops. In fact, Men On Rooftops would have been a much more accurate title. As for the 1980's setting, apart from the terrible moustaches the only real giveaway is the constant display of shitty looking cars. Whenever the plot delved into another pointless stakeout I couldn't help but wonder where they managed to dig them all up from. If you're a fan of drab saloon cars, this is the film for you.

On the opening credits it's worth noting that the film is made by Film Victoria, the Australian film company. It's quite clear that most of the cast are Australians attempting different accents, with Prison Break's Dominic Purcell being the shining example of why this is a very bad idea. Playing a character inexplicably known as The Welshman, his attempt at an English accent is truly appalling. You keep expecting him to pull off his handlebar moustache and reveal himself to be an Aussie in disguise, but sadly it never happens.

Fun erring on the side of stupid, there's a couple of good fight sequences including an acrobatic one that Statham performs whilst tied to a chair, but there's far too much unnecessary plot in place of a more streamlined action flick. The scenes between De Niro, Statham and Owen are the highlights, but they don't amount to much of Killer Elite's overlong running time.


Special Features: Making Of, Interview With Jason Statham, Trailer

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this review. I am definitely buying the Blu Ray version.