Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thoughts on "Killer Elite"

Marketed as an airy, snazzy, whiz-bang assassin showdown, it turns out that "Killer Elite" is nothing but a dour, ugly true-story agency thriller - dull when bullets are flying and just about bereft of life when they aren't. 
Based on Sir Ranulph Fiennes' 1991 novel The Feather Men, the film quite awkwardly shapes a traditional Jason Statham template inside of a mid-80's Oman oil crisis which extends up to the SAS in England and all manner of convoluted government acronyms all bent on killing, well, Jason Statham. 
"Killer Elite," which quite strangely cost over $60 million, frequently has the look and feel of a direct-to-DVD release, with only Clive Owen and the fleeting presence of Robert De Niro giving the film any real deserved theatrical release. 
It's the kind of film which, through its concluding type explaining to us the present whereabouts of our characters, has to remind the audience that it's based on true story. It's so barely comprehensible that we naturally chalk it up to bad screenwriting, the fact that it's true gives it no excuses. [C-]

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