This is my movie review of Killer Elite starring Jason Statham. If you’re wondering how I came away from this movie pleasantly surprised, read on and find out!
Killer Elite is based on the book, The Feather Men. by author Ranulph Fiennes. It stars Jason Statham, Robert De Niro, Clive Owen, Dominic Purcell, Aden Young & Yvonne Strahovski of Chuck fame. It was wonderfully directed (& written) by Gary McKendry. McKendry is someone to keep an eye out for. He has the directorial knack, despite having come out of nowhere and this being his directorial debut for a major motion picture.
I don’t know who wrote up the film summary on IMDb, but the write up does not do the movie justice. And believe it or not, this is not a Jason Statham against a hundred evil men that need their asses kicked movie.
To be honest, there was much more to this movie than I expected!
Killer Elite takes place in 1980 and starts out with Danny (Statham) and his team (De Niro, Purcell, Young) doing a hit. This hit, for reasons you’ll see if you go, is Danny’s last mission. But a year later Danny gets a package in the mail with airline tickets and a picture of his mentor/hit team buddy, Hunter (De Niro) being held prisoner.
Though Danny wants out of this business, he knows he has to go rescue Hunter. But it’s not quite as simple as going in and kicking butt. A Sheik is holding Hunter hostage and for $6 million and a simple task that needs doing by Danny, he’ll let Hunter go.
The problem is that the Sheik wants revenge on the men who killed his three sons during a war. All were more or less executions. The double whammy problem is that the Sheik wants these men admitting on tape they killed his son, and that their deaths must look look like accidents.
The REAL problem is that these three guys are ex SAS members and they’re protected to some degree by a secret SAS society.
Yea, no problem, right?
And that’s where the story takes us. Danny gets his team back together, after leaving the love of his life, Anne, played by Yvonne Strahovski, behind.
The story moves along with Danny dealing with coordinating the hits and executing them, following the SAS secret circle, an MI6 agent or two and Danny’s life with Anne.
Despite sounding as if this is a busy film, it was done rather well actually.
I came into this movie expecting nothing but a popcorn movie of fun, but what I got was confused, thinking this was almost more a drama with some action.
The core of the story is pulled along with side plots. Some details are done off-screen, so when some things connect up, it’s an assumption. But that’s fine. There’s so much to cover in under two hours that I am willing to excuse this.
Jason Statham fans will be pleased. He does get to kick butt, but it’s not as crazy as some of his other films.
It’s nice to see Robert De Niro in this film too, though, because according to Hunter, life is like licking honey off a thorn; or all the food in all the places he’s been to is crap. (Except of course, in New York.)
I seriously don’t know how I should rate this movie. The cast was a clue that it could be a great film, but I wasn’t holding my breath. It was weird seeing Dominic Purcell with hair, and for him, lots of it. It was also a pure pleasure to see Yvonne Strahovski in a role playing a serious love interest. It wasn’t a huge role, but it was sufficient and a wonderful change of pace from what we’ve seen in Chuck.
Oh and Spike (Clive Owen) is the man that Danny is pursued by and when they do face off, it’s a pretty good throw down.
As an average-Joe movie reviewer, I don’t get special screenings, but rather I pay my way in like everyone else, like you. All in all, I was very pleased with the money I spent going into this movie.
Surprisingly, the theater, on a Friday, mid-day, was more full than I expected it to be. At least 1/2 full, so people seem interested in seeing Killer Elite.
It had good action that’s not overdone. Good story, better than expected for an action flick. Great cast. I was never bored with any of it. If I had to score this movie (I hate scoring, but it’s not a bad reference point I guess), I’d give Killer Elite a popcorn 9.
Killer Elite Full Movie Trailer: