Killer Elite: Jason Statham, Robert DeNiro, Clive Owen.

Posted: October 3, 2011 in Crime Fiction Books, Movies Crimezine Film
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Killer Elite: stand by for bad attitude and big side burns

Crimezine loves Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE. Killer Elite is based on the book Feather Men by this great British adventurer and premier league nut job. Ran, as he likes to be called, has been up more mountains than a goat herding yeti and circumnavigated more poles than an escaped penguin in Krakow. He has also seen a great deal of military service, including time spent in the legendary British special forces unit, the Special Air Service (SAS).

The film Killer Elite is supposedly  based on Ran’s experiences in the gulf state of Oman, just how much of this is true and how much of it is—erhem—artistic licence, is left to the conscience of the individual Crimeziner. Suffice to say, this tall tale incoporates many of the authors SAS experiences.
The movie revolves around gun for hire Danny Bryce (Statham) and his partner Hunter (De Niro).  Danny comes out of retirement to help Hunter, who has been kidnapped by  nasty Sheik Amr. Three of the Sheiks sons have been killed by the SAS and now he wants Danny to avenge them—while he holds Hunter as insurance.
The action is hard and fast moving, the plot clever and entertaining. There is never a dull moment in this movie and there are a plethora of double crosses and twists, that will leave you guessing till the very end. Serious cinema critics never understand action movies like this, so it is best to ignore them–buy a supersized popcorn and enjoy ninety minutes of knuckle cracking action and full auto frolics.
Statham is his usual ebullient self throughout, recieving more damage than a one armed boxer in a UFC final. De Niro is hilariously DeNiroesque, in a return to form that will have fans of the great man cheering in the aisles. And in case you had any doubts, Clive Owen is just wonderful as Statham’s one eyed SAS nemesis.
The movie does have a number of flaws however. Crimezine especially loved the unintentional hilarity of the SAS squad,  who’s cliched toby-jug antics add a degree of levity to this film. Do the filmmakers really think ale sloshing sing-alongs are part of British life? Chortle.
The other gripe is the  fact that this film is supposed to be set in 1980, but the set dressing is off kilter, which is distracting. There is no real reason why this film should have been a period piece, rather than a here and now interpretation.
At one point in the movie, an actor playing Ranulph Fiennes gets shot in the leg by Statham. He doesn’t look that hurt, which is no surprise, as Ran is a man who sawed  off his own fingers in his garden shed with a Black and Decker power saw. Why?  An ill advised DIY surgery attempt, to relieve the symptoms of Antarctica induced frostbite. Ouch. This film is a must, go see it now.
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