Heather has a Bachelor's Degree in English from Moravian College and has been freelance writing for more than 14 years.
Is it possible to leave your past behind completely and survive unscathed? That's the premise behind the DVD release of Killer Elite, which had some funny but routine results.
Killer Elite followed Danny Bryce (Jason Statham) as an elite Special Ops Agent who had a change of heart after his last mission went wrong. He had a crisis of conscience and decided to give up his job for a much calmer life with his girlfriend Anne (Yvonne Strahovski). He gets pulled back into his old life when his friend and mentor Hunter (Robert De Niro) is kidnapped to get Danny to do one more job. This job entailed Danny and two former associates (Dominic Purcell and Aden Young) to kill three former government operatives who murdered a Middle Eastern power player's three sons. He wanted revenge for their deaths before he succumbed to a life threatening illness. Unfortunately, Danny didn't anticipate one wrinkle in his plan in the form of Spike (Clive Owen) a former operative who had a score to settle with Danny. Who will survive for their final confrontation?
In terms of plot, Killer Elite's read like a pretty routine action movie that was filled with car chases, fights and some casualties of war. Okay, the movie may be based on a true story, but it was still a story that was hard to believe at times. When moviegoers get past the routine muddle of fight scenes and shoot-outs, the plot is simply a tale of revenge and loyalty for those you love. Jason Statham's character left his agency for love and returned to save his best friend who was like a brother to him. The lengths that Danny would go to save De Niro's Hunter were pretty extreme. He sunk into a dangerous operative base to get one of his targets and went into his final mission alone. The movie's strongest story was the relationship between De Niro and Statham's characters, which was designed as the ultimate bromance with guns to boot. This was the relationship that the audience rooted for. Not Danny's relationship with Anne, which served more as a temporary distraction from the shoot-outs. Nothing more.
In terms of the acting, Statham was pretty entertaining as a likable but flawed good guy. The only problem was that he had pretty much played the same role in most of his movies in recent years. He needs to take a huge risk in choosing his next role. Hopefully, his next movie will have Statham stepping outside of his comfort zone, like he did in War, as a villain or someone completely different. Owen seemed to have a complete kick out of playing someone as ruthless and evil as Spike who lived by his own code no matter how many bodies piled up behind him. His fights with Statham were brutal and amusing, which made it more difficult to choose a clear winner. De Niro provided some decent support as a tough old school killer with enough grit to make his enemies doubt him, which they should never do. He provided some of the movie's humor in his limited scenes. The movie's biggest casualty was Strahovski who did nothing more than serve as a pretty face for Statham to dream about, which was a shame because she could be lethal if she wanted to be like she was on Chuck.
Verdict: A routine action film that was rather standard, but the cast made up for it with gung ho excitement.
DVD Score: 2 out of 5 stars
Movie Rating: R
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)