MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
When you take into the fact that I am a red-blooded American male (and that’s a confirmed fact, since I checked my status this morning), you’d think I’d be genetically inclined to love a film like “Killer Elite.” After all, it stars three of the greatest tough guys working in Hollywood today (or at least two of them, since Clive Owen rarely brings his tough guy A-game to his films).
The movie has all the elements in place that should make it a great experience for not just a fan of tough guy cinema but also for anyone who enjoys political intrigue and action movies. The story is based on the (alleged) true account of a rogue group known as The Feather Men who arrange political assassinations. When two ex-SAS agents are pulled into a mission to avenge the deaths of a Sheikh’s sons, they knock heads with this shadow organization.
I’ll admit that it was cool to see Robert De Niro share the screen with the likes of Jason Statham, and the genre itself has been getting into there teams recently with De Niro in the lame but admirable “Righteous Kill” with Al Pacino and Statham in “The Expendables.” And yes, both of them hold their own in the action moments. Indeed, De Niro shows he still has plenty of badass to dish out, kicking the butts of people half his age.
But the problem in this film comes not from the action, but from the characters and story. It is a needlessly convoluted movie, with shifting relationships and alliances. I suppose that Statham is meant to the be hero of the movie, but it’s hard to really get behind his motivations. Likewise, Clive Owen as the Feather Men’s wetwork manager never emerges as a hero or villain, but rather just a soft character with no real passion.
There are some neat action sequences, and it was cool to see Statham and Owen (and Owen’s mustache) go head-to-head in a couple scenes. But in the end, I felt nothing for “Killer Elite.” Had it been a direct-to-video presentation starring John Cena and Randy Couture, I would have been more forgiving because these guys tend to make crap anyway. But a theatrical release with the star power behind this movie should have delivered something much better.
The Blu-ray comes with a bonus DVD and Digital Copy disc, along with pocketBLU access. Special features are rather thin, amounting to only a dozen or so deleted and extended scenes.