Monday, 26 September 2011



There's a certain moment that comes along in movies from time to time that's guaranteed to have me wincing. Not any kind of violence (although I still look away in Saw III when someone pulps their own ankle with a toilet cistern) but the use of hideously clunky lines of dialogue. Lines that land on the screen with a wet thud such as "You remind me of myself when I was your age" as uttered, probably at gunpoint, by Alec Baldwin in Pearl Harbour, or "Yo' momma" by Halle Berry in Die Another Day: iffy movies anyway but not helped by "ouch" one-liners. Well, early on in this knuckleheaded macho nonsense, in an unnecessary effort to big up Jason Statham, the phrase "This guy's your worst nightmare" gets an outing. And they're so proud this that some time later they use it again. Ouch, ouch.

Despite the title, Killer Elite has nothing to do with Sam Peckinpah's 1975 action movie The Killer Elite, but is "inspired" instead from a 1993 non-fiction book by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Jason Statham is a retired Special Ops type, done with assassinations after almost killing a child and now living in a remote area of Australia - but he's brought reluctantly back into action when his mentor and friend Robert De Niro is held hostage by an exiled tribal leader in Oman wanting revenge against the SAS operatives who killed three of his sons and instructing hardman Jason Statham to take them out. But equally hardman Clive Owen, on behalf of the powerful secret organisation of ex-military types known as The Feather Men, is on the trail....

Odd to see De Niro in a simplistic thudfest like this - curiously, this is the second De Niro movie involving someone falsely claiming to be ex-SAS (after Ronin, and let's just hope he knows how to pronounce Hereford now); Statham does the usual Statham thing which is usually watchable and Clive Owen has fun as what is basically the villain role as he's protecting the dodgy ex-SAS murderers. It's far too long, and it has absolutely nothing for the women to do - there's only one female speaking part of a significance and she's not in it for most of the film - but as a Blokes' Saturday Night Action Movie with fights and chases and shootouts and swearing and grunting, it's perfectly entertaining.


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