The story, direction, characters, and writing/dialogue is akin to taking a tranquilizer shot to the neck, but everything else was so well done.
When his mentor is taken captive by a disgraced Arab sheik, a killer-for-hire is forced into action. His mission: kill three members of Britain's elite Special Air Service responsible for the death of his sons. Killer Elite was better the 2nd time around i saw it, Jason Statham was amazing and there's some terrific fight scenes with him and one in particular involving a chair, Clive Owen was also a great opponent for him and he suprised me alot in that role. Robert De Niro was also excellent as Jason's mentor. Lot's of action, punching, kicking and guns make Killer Elite a dazzling action thriller and one that fans of the genre and Jason Statham will like for the most part if not love it. (10/10)
One thing that sets this film apart from the modern mayhem movies that it resembles is its basis. "Killer Elite" is based on a 1991 supposedly non-fiction book, "The Feather Men," by Ranulph Fiennes. Sir Fiennes himself is a fantastic story, which viewers may find of interest. So, I'll give some more on him later. How much of this story is true, is anyone's guess. Sir Fiennes in 2011 referred to his book as "faction" – his word for facts and fiction. But he later said that the story was all fiction, even though the characters and many incidents are facts. Whether fact or fiction or a mix, the story comes out of real events. And that's what gives it substance for a plot. The book and film are about a small group of expertly trained mercenaries who are hired to kill four expertly trained members of Britain's elite SAS. SAS stands for Special Air Service, but it is referred to "in the trade" as Special Assassination Squad. The four were members of an SAS squad that served in a clandestine operation in Oman in the mid-1970s. They trained and fought with the reigning sheik's military in the Omani civil war (1963-76). The insurrection was a Communist-led effort, supported with Soviet Union arms and equipment. The Soviets wanted to get control over the Middle East oil supplies from the Persian Gulf that passed through the Gulf of Oman. The movie apparently switches the focus of the story. Where the book's focus is on the SAS efforts to stop the hired assassins, the movie's focus is on the team hired to do the contract. The elite killers were to get revenge for the sheik's three oldest sons who were killed by SAS members. The movie doesn't go into detail about the SAS operations for the Sheik, or about the civil war. But, apparently, the SAS methods against the guerrillas also killed some innocents, including the sheik's three sons. The sheik initially refused to avenge his sons' deaths, which was required by his nomadic Arab culture. So, he was exiled from his country. But now, he wants his last son to be able to return to rule his sheikdom; and in order to do that, he must avenge the deaths of his sons. He would jeopardize himself and his country to do it openly, so he hires trained experts for the job. They are to get confessions of the killers on video tape and then kill them. According to the book, the revenge killings take 17 years and the last one is foiled when the Feather Men come to the rescue of the SAS members. The movie has a different ending, and the film credits postscript reads, "The fate of Danny Bryce and other covert operatives remains unknown or undisclosed." While this is a tough movie to watch for the cold-blooded killing, the film pushes the audience toward siding with mercenaries. The actors all are quite good. Jason Statham is Danny, Robert De Niro is Hunter, Dominic Purcell is Davies, Aden Young is Meier, and Clive Owen is Spike. Spike is the former SAS member who discovers the assassination plan and sets out to stop it. He probably is the principal hero of the book.One thing that comes up a number of times in the dialog is the Battle or Mirbat. That's a real event of July 19, 1972, in which nine SAS members held off 400 guerrillas who had better and more combat arms and equipment. It's interesting that the same year this movie came out another book by an SAS member was published. "SAS Operation Storm: Nine Men against Four Hundred in Britain's Secret War" was written by Roger Cole and Richard Belfield. It tells about the Battle of Marbit, of which Cole was a part and one of the few survivors. There's a good deal more information now available on the Omani civil war, the British involvement in it, SAS operations and the movie and the books. As for Ranulph Fiennes, he is of British royalty, and served in the SAS, including two years in Oman during the civil war. Fiennes is a long-time promoter of worthy charities. He usually supports them with daring and challenging feats. Although prolific writer and poet, he also is a prominent English explorer. He holds several records. He has climbed notable peaks, including Mt. Everest in May of 2009 at age 65. He is the first person ever to cross Antarctica on foot and one of the few ever to visit both the North and South Poles. His life would make an interesting film. This film rightly has an "R" rating, mostly for the violence. It's not a family movie, and it's not for everyone. The modern mavens who can't sit still for a good drama or other film will enjoy this film. It's action is augmented with snippets of the planning and details that go into making efforts work. For that look at the world of mercenaries, and its placement in a significant period and events in history, it should appeal to those who study history, and those who enjoy espionage, military and related topics.
Jason Statham muddles his way through yet another formulaic mess. A retired killer seeking to escape his past something something something SAS, something something British government and a secret society, something something oil in the Middle East. Or something.It's all so tedious, you won't even care who's who or why they're doing whatever they're doing. Most of the characters are completely interchangeable, there's no development, and the entire plot is just a handful of adjectives strung together with verbs. I rate Killer Elite at 13.32 on the Haglee Scale, which works out as a dull 4/10 on IMDb.
Killer Elite (2011): Dir: Gary McKendry / Cast: Jason Statham, Robert De Niro, Clive Owen, Dominic Purcell, Aden Young: Exhilarating action film about professional assassins poised against each other. Jason Statham plays a professional assassin and Robert De Niro plays his mentor and after an opening scene where Statham makes a kill but unable to kill the victim's son. He ends this line of work and goes back to Australia to live with his girlfriend. Statham is summoned to another job after his mentor is taken prisoner. To bargain for his life Statham is assigned by an ill sheik to kill the four men responsible for the death of his three sons. His remaining son will execute Statham's mentor if he fails. Directional debut for Gary McKendry with much well crafted yet totally implausible action scenes that still rank this as one of Statham's best films. Statham pulls off one of his best roles as he attempts to rendering these kills to appear as an accident. De Niro does well as the mentor whose success with Statham leads to a rescue mission. De Niro will eventually be assigned to watch his girlfriend when Statham is assigned one last job. Clive Owen leads a team sent to prevent the four kills from happening. He is skilled at his job and becomes a great counter to Statham including their satisfying send off. Dominic Purcell and Aden Young steal scenes as members of Statham's team who take risks that turn out costly when a hotel clerk betrays his placement. While the action is silly and over the top, it is entertaining and intelligent right up to the final departure. Score: 9 / 10