What do you need to really know about Killer Elite before you see it? It has the words “Killer” and “Elite” in the title, the trailers have a ton of action, Jason Statham stars, and Robert De Niro and Clive Owen are in it. It’s only missing ninjas. Or is it?? Wait, it is, but it does have a lot of other things to look forward to…

Video Review:

The Plot:

Killer Elite is an action-adventure film that follows Danny (Jason Statham), one of the world’s most skilled special-ops agents. Lured out of self-imposed exile, Danny reassembles his crack team of operatives to execute a near-impossible mission of retribution to rescue his former mentor and partner Hunter (Robert De Niro). Together they must penetrate the highly feared and respected military unit, the British Special Air Service (SAS), to take down a rogue cell of soldier assassins and their leader (Clive Owen) before their actions create a global crisis. The film is based on Ranulph Fiennes’ controversial non-fiction bestseller “The Feather Men.”

The Players:

  • Directed by: Gary McKendry
  • Written by: Matt Sherring
  • Starring: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro, Dominic Purcell
  • Director of Photography: Simon Duggan

The Good:

  • ACTION!!!: Some films become laughable when they drown the entire picture with high octane action, but Killer Elite stays exciting even in “unbelievable” moments.
  • Cast: The cast shines in this film and holds its lesser qualities together. Statham might be the only legitimate action star today, Clive Owen brings a complexity to a tormented ex-soldier, De Niro is subtle and confident, and Dominic Purcell stands out as a supporting character.

The Bad:

  • Convoluted Story: Complex details and political topics are left out of the trailers for good reason; it’s confusing. It takes half the film or more to get into the story and piece together the information you need to stay invested.
  • Inconsistent: Directly related to the problems in the story, the style of the action sequences, though fun and exciting, change throughout the film.
  • No Ninjas: Seriously, if you’re going to claim to be a serious film but have this much action, at least have one ninja.

Overall:

I appreciated that there was an attempt to make an action movie with a complex controversial backbone even with its problems. The action sequences are exciting and the characters are compelling enough to invest your attention. A must see for action fans.

Rating: 6/10

See Killer Elite in theaters September 23, 2011!

Review written by guest writer Michael May. Video shot my Michael May, produced by Mali Elfman and edited by Mike Small.