Killer Elite (2011)

It’s a Jason Statham movie.  Fastest review ever!  (the implication is that they are all the same)

It’s the plot that killed the movie.  There were hints of interesting bits without complete closure after 2 hours.  We needed more context for earlier Statham life (Australia and how he ended up being an assassin).  Instead, we are as in the dark as Yvonne Strahovski.  All we know is that he was a boy, left home, became a highly trained paramilitary covert operative somehow and then came back home, ostensibly to father a massive family.  The sheik’s sons were killed in apparently 3 separate military actions and yet somehow we are to believe they were “assassinated” and not just collateral damage.  Why couldn’t the sheik just kill 3 white guys after torturing a fake confession out of them?  Why didn’t his anglicized son realize that his life of leisure was directly dependent on oil money and realize that he would be a beggar in the streets he refused to leave?  The subplot of the 4th SAS agent was downplayed too much.  For awhile we’re left thinking it was Clive Owen and then it was Jason Statham and then it was the author.  Feel free to correct me but at the end, the author confesses to killing the son in a book and is then targeted by the assassins?  Wouldn’t it have been more interesting if Jason Statham was the sole assassin from the beginning and has been killing innocent men in order to save Hunter thereby further damning himself after his alleged moral recovery from the opening scenes?  It would have been better if it was Clive Owen even.  It would have explained his fervor in protecting those 3 specific men and allowed for a final showdown in Oman with Jason Statham.  The Feathermen make oblique appearances, don’t do much except own Spike and then fade away halfway through.  That little secret society does nothing more than get exposed to the British government and yet, since we’re not shown otherwise, are left coordinated and in power at the end of the movie.  The travel agent should have been killed and is inexplicably left alive by Hunter for no purpose in a movie filled with enough arbitrary death to make a deserved death going undone inexplicable.  Clive Owen should have been killed.  The money should have been taken.

It was 3/4 of a movie and while the majority is great, that missing quarter really damages the movie.

Also, the IMDB shows the confusion inherent in the movie.  When his mentor is taken captive, a retired member of Britain’s Elite Special Air Service is forced into action. His mission: kill three assassins dispatched by their cunning leader.  If Hunter is the captive mentor then Statham is ex-SAS which is never addressed.  And who is the cunning leader who dispatched the SAS assassins?  If Clive Owen is the retired member of the SAS forced into action to kill the three assassins (Statham’s character, Davies, Meier) then who is HIS mentor that was taken captive?

The action and ideas were fun but the story itself was kind of stupid and confusing.

I thought there’d be more of an intelligence tie-in somehow but I was mistaken.  You could basically say it’s a covert paramilitary espionage movie and I guess that would fit it in with the rest but don’t feel like you have to watch this.  Unless you have unlimited time and an insatiable thirst for movies like this then skip it for something better.

p.s.  I think Ranulph Fiennes is a liar.