Monday 3 October 2011

Movie Review: Killer Elite

An odd film with an odd mixture of talent. While the film is better than the paltry 25% accorded it by Rotten Tomatoes, I can't say this is a masterpiece of suspense or drama or action adventure or whatever you want to call it. This is supposedly based on a true story but my research has led to some saying the author has a gift for fiction. Okay, whether or not the story is true is one thing. What's important for this film is whether or not the story is good. For me? Passable. Not bad. The type of thing you'd rent and waste a Saturday evening on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn. This isn't something you'd shell out for at the cinema. Now just imagine how much your popcorn is going to cost at the cinema as opposed to that bag you just put into your microwave.

This cinematic opus stars several well know names: Jason Statham, Robert De Niro and Clive Owen. Now Jason Statham is an action star. I say that right up front so you know exactly what you're getting. Years and years ago, I remember reading a review of a Bruce Lee film in which the author went on waxing laudatory about Lee's chance to show his emotional side. I'm sorry; I never thought Lee could act. Yes, he could fight but he couldn't act. Mr. Statham is pretty much the same. He's at his best when he's looking mean and fighting six bad guys at once but please, can we avoid having him trying to act tender and kissing the girl?

Robert De Niro, on the other hand, can act to beat the band. He doesn't have to beat up six guys to look tough; he just has to glance at them and you know this is one mother you don't want to mess with. Clive Owen is another one whose got acting chops to spare. I mention all this because this film runs between being some sort of vehicle for Mr. Statham's talents as an action star summarily kicking 20 bad guys in the butt and a dramatic spy thriller trying to get you to work out who did what to whom and when. Unfortunately it has aimed high but failed to score. Somebody yelled, "Pull!" Out flew the clay pigeon but then the director or the screenwriter or both missed the shot.

Final Word
Not bad but wait to rent it for a mindless Saturday night when you haven't got anything better to do. I said this is better than the 25% Rotten Tomatoes gave it but I could only find 440 some odd words to write about it.


Rotten Tomatoes: Killer Elite: 25%
A rote, utterly disposable Jason Statham vehicle that just happens to have Clive Owen and Robert De Niro in it.

Wikipedia: Killer Elite
Killer Elite is a 2011 action film starring Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro, Yvonne Strahovski, and Dominic Purcell. The film is based on the 1991 novel The Feather Men by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and is directed by Gary McKendry.

Roger Ebert: Killer Elite - Sep 21/2011
Three stars out of four

Wikipedia: The Feather Men
The Feather Men is a 1991 novel by the British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Fiennes himself remained vague on the story's veracity, asserting that it was up to the reader to decide whether it was fact or fiction, and suggested journalists subject events and people described in the book to "forensic examination", and to draw their own conclusions. Fiennes describes his novels as "factional", meaning a blend of fact and fiction. The hardcover editions had the words "Fact or fiction?" printed on the covers, and contained an index, maps and photographs as a non-fiction book would. The paperback editions, however, presented the book as purely fiction and omitted the index and illustrations.

Wikipedia: Ranulph Fiennes
Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 3rd Baronet, OBE (born 7 March 1944), better known as Ranulph (Ran) Fiennes, is a British adventurer and holder of several endurance records. He is also a prolific writer. Fiennes served in the British Army for eight years including a period on counter-insurgency service while attached to the army of the Sultanate of Oman. He later undertook numerous expeditions and was the first person to visit both the North and South Poles by surface means and the first to completely cross Antarctica on foot. In May 2009, at the age of 65, he climbed to the summit of Mount Everest. According to the Guinness Book of World Records he is the world's greatest living explorer. Fiennes has written numerous books about his army service and his expeditions as well as a book defending Robert Falcon Scott from modern revisionists.


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