Jason Staham and Clive Owen are a
dream pairing made in movie heaven. Throw Robert De Niro in there too and KILLER ELITE should have been a really fun
film. Instead we get a few good action scenes, too little screen time between Statham and Owen as Owen's character,
Spike, looks to stop Danny (Statham) from caring out his mission. Danny is forced to kill three ex-SAS men who killed
a few sons of the leader of Yemen
in exchange for the freedom of Danny's mentor, Hunter (De Niro). It is the early 1980s where a
secretive group of ex-military men and businessmen called the Feather Men look to control the oil in the Middle
East. The mission starts out pretty simple as to get filmed confessions and make the killings look like
accidents. Soon Danny finds it isn't so easy as he finds the Feather Men are on his trail.
KILLER ELITE should be an interesting
thriller which is based on a non-fiction book, but instead it takes the background facts that are the basis for everything
going on in the world (at the time) and turn it into a so-so action drama. We don't get to know enough about
Danny, Hunter, or Spike. The film starts with the moment where Danny decides to quit and goes from there. You
get flashbacks of his life from where he left being a special forces killer to where he is forced to do the mission to save
Hunter. It revolves around a woman he falls in love with and you get the usual relationship cliches played to better
effect in other movies. You see brief glimpses into the personal life of Spike and Hunter mentions a little about his life (without
showing us anything).
The film drags at points until you get
to the next action set piece. Clive Owen and Jason Statham spend too little time together in the film. I hope
another film utilizes them together more than the KILLER ELITE did so too briefly (the chair fight is even too brief).
Jason Statham, Robert De Niro, and Clive Owen do their best with what the screenplay gives them. Robert
De Niro mostly plays the damsel in distress role and I would have loved to have seen a couple of flashbacks to the missions
him and Danny were on together. Instead, KILLER ELITE isn't the best movie for any of the talent involved and yet it
is neither the worst they have been involved in during their careers.
13 deleted scenes (about under nine minutes
total) are the only extra (besides previews). Most of the scenes were cut
for pacing, but some of the later deleted scenes add further character development to Spike and Danny which might have been
interesting to leave in the movie. I wish they had a featurette or two
on the making of the movie and the book that movie is based on.
FINAL ANALYSIS: KILLER ELITE is a decent rental and two hours of good entertainment for fans of the lead actors. I do wish the film was a little more layered.
this DVD review is (c)1-12-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org