Killer Elite (2011)
Directed by Gary McKendry
Starring: Jason Statham, Robert DeNiro, Clive Owen, Yvonne Strahovski
This 2011 action-thriller was the first feature film directed by Gary McKendry. Despite being his feature film debut, McKendry already has an Oscar nomination under his belt for his short Everything in This Country Must. The film is based on a novel called The Feather Men written by Sir Ranulph Fiennes which he calls a “true adventure”. The film version of the story stars Jason Statham, best known for his work in action films like the Transporter series. The movie also stars the legendary Robert DeNiro. Clive Owen and Yvonne Strahovsky round out some of the great names in this film.
When Hunter (DeNiro) is captured and held by a wealthy sheik in the Middle East, his friend and associate Danny (Statham) comes to his aid. Danny is asked to finish the job Hunter failed to do, in return for his release. The job is to hunt and kill three assassins who had killed the sons of the sheik. The job will take Danny around the globe an reacquaint him with old friends. Opposite Danny is Spike (Owen), hired by the other side to protect their interests. As he uncovers the truth behind the job, Danny finds himself in the middle of a much bigger fight. As powerful people try to intervene on both sides Danny fights for Hunter’s freedom and a chance to be free from the violence.
This was a darker and deeper movie than I expected from Jason Statham. McKendry did a great job setting the tone with incredible camera work and good pace. This is a visually impressive film without all of the flair I expected. The action was more straight-forward and added to the sense of realism.
Statham and DeNiro worked well together as both friends and shooters throughout the action. Clive Owen is the perfect adversary for Statham as well. One of the nice surprises of the film is Yvonne Strahovski who is best known as Sarah on the NBC hit series Chuck. She does a good job as the woman Danny left behind, using her native Australian accent to her advantage. Throughout the movie the cast comes together quite nicely. In addition to good acting the physical work by the actors is impressive.
Killer Elite is an interesting story which has some nice twists that keep things moving nicely without being predictable. The acting and technical work are great and make for a really good movie. This is one for people who love a good shoot-em up action flick with some substance. I give this one 3.8 out of 5 stars.
I heard this one was terrible, but the cast is excellent and I still want to see it.
Terrible isn’t something I would use to describe this. I think some people went into it thinking it would be another Guy Ritchie / Jason Statham artsy shooter. This is more deep and interesting than that.
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I was a bit let down by The Killer Elite because I was hoping for an action-packed Statham movie. But it was a lot more plot/tone based and for that, I give it credit. However, I wasn’t especially impressed with the plot in general. Either way, I can’t say no to a movie starring both Jason Statham and Clive Owen (especially with a mustache.)
I think it was good to see Statham stepping out in a more serious role. I think he’s been type-cast long enough. I want to see what he can really do.