Well, it certainly has been a while. I have not taken pen to paper, or the digital alternative, in several weeks. Life has been hectic, but too much work makes me a dull boy right? So I welcomed the opportunity to go out with some friends, enjoy a nice meal, and top it off with the spur of the moment cinema decision. The review of the actual film today, may not be my best, but I will touch on several other things that may refresh, and give you something to ponder…
Firstly the decision to see the movie was rather last minute. Not that we were rushed, but as dinner wound down, goodbyes were being exchanged, new friends leaving, old friends remaining, the idea was tossed out. I’ll admit I was rather tired, and was seriously considering calling it a night, but the night owl in me was beginning to stretch his wings, and the fog of an early night was dispersed. I may have mentioned before that I am not really a big “go out to the movies” person. I really do enjoy watching movies at home, where I can enjoy the film, some special features, make a note or two for the pending review, do a quick search, or on the very rare occasion that I’d be watching a movie at home with someone else, make my sarcastic comments, or witticisms out loud without fear of offending or distracting other movie goers. Of course it’s been more than five years since I’ve watched a movie at home with anyone other than my kids. That is neither here nor there, because the point I’m getting to relates to the five or so people sitting in the row ahead of us at the theatre tonight. Tonight, we took our seats, and the house lights dimmed. At this point we set our phones to silent, and put them away to watch the movie. Now, partway through the film, “The Girl Who Whispered”, (from my review of The Debt) was seated beside me and brought to my attention the occupants of the row ahead of us. All with device screens glowing, texting back and forth throughout the movie. I don’t know if they were texting each other, so as not to talk, or if they were texting someone who was not in attendance, but it really did become a distraction. It was one of those “scratch your head” moments, because the movie held quite a pace throughout, and did not really drag or lose the audience’s attention at any point. The plot was not overly complicated, so there really was no need to ask questions as the story unfolded. Perhaps this is the icing on the cake that says I’m old, because I did not understand why this group would be doing that when they paid good money to see a film.
When I do my reviews, I often have the IMDb site handy, to check for characters names, check for other movies that the actors had been in, and just do general research on the movie. Today is no different, but I think I must have seen different movie than the IMDb people are writing about, based on their plot synopsis:
When his mentor is taken captive, a retired member of Britain’s Elite Special Air Service is forced into action. His mission: kill three assassins dispatched by their cunning leader.
That is not really what Killer Elite is about at all. Killer Elite is supposedly based on a true story relating to a series of assassinations that took place in the early 1980s. Assassins Jason Statham and Robert DeNiro are partners Danny Bryce and Hunter. On an assignment in Mexico, all is going according to plan, until Danny shoots their target in his car only to realize that there is a child in the car with him. Though the kid is not harmed, Danny decides he is done with killing. Of course that would make for a dull movie, and Danny learns a year later that “killing isn’t done with him”. Hunter is taken hostage by Sheikh Amr who hired him to kill three members of the British S.A.S. responsible for the killings of three of his sons. When Hunter is unable to complete the assignment, Danny is coerced into performing the assassinations in order to free his mentor. As the three targets are revealed, word gets back to “The Feather Men” a secret society of former S.A.S. operatives who operate outside the law and the government for their own profit, with a touch as light as a feather. The Feather Men send their own agents out to prevent the assassinations, and the intrigue builds and action escalates, as Danny and his small team complete their tasks. Of course double crosses, traps and setups ensue adding to this very well done action thriller.
I have given Killer Elite 3.5 Stars, but feel the film itself only deserves 3. The plot was rather predictable, with lots of action movie cliches, and minor plot holes, but Statham’s fight scenes can justify the extra half star in my book. Most of the fight scenes are completely over the top, but are still enjoyable and give the viewer a good rush of adrenaline, and usually a good chuckle too. The car chases were extremely fun as well, and all of the action was well filmed and well choreographed. I was rather disappointed with the film’s under-use of Robert DeNiro, who I do believe has the “acting chops” to be more than just the plot device/motivation he was here. Clive Owen as Spike gave a good performance and delivered a lot of the exposition in the film. Yvonne Strahovski as Danny’s love interest was rather unmemorable, not entirely the actresses fault though, as I think the writers used her as a cheap and easy way to make Danny Bryce more human, and likeable for the audience.
Killer Elite was action packed fun, and certainly delivered on the entertainment side, but don’t expect too many deviations from the action film norm from first time director Gary McKendry. This is certainly not one of those “must see” films, but was an enjoyable escape all things considered.