Killer Elite is this season’s Jason Statham action-thriller about secret operatives sent to kill ex-SAS agents while being hunted themselves. Based on a true story, it attempts to be deep while still having the pumped-up action you’ve come to expect from a Statham vehicle. However, it ultimately falls short and ends up being a slow and murky ride.
Early in the film, Hunter (Robert DeNiro) is captured by Oman leaders. Danny (Statham) is called to save him by assassinating the ex-SAS operatives who killed the leader’s sons. Along the way, the leader of a secret society, played by Clive Owen, hunts Danny’s team to stop them.
The characters are exactly what you expect from Jason Statham and Clive Owen, being the typical tough-guys going against each other. Jason Statham seems to play the exact same character in all of his movies and Danny is no exception.
The story starts off slow, with the first half setting it up and what the characters goals are with action peppered in between. The second half is all about action with the story cast to the side. Combining story and action together shouldn’t be too hard of a task, but it ended up being muddled with the story either being confusing or being center stage while the action takes a backseat. There wasn’t ever a middle ground where you could identify both. The ending seems to supplement both very well, but it was too little too late.
One of the main problems with Killer Elite is the fact that there is no discernable person to root for. Both Statham and Owen’s characters are working against each other, and when they fought I found myself rooting for both, instead of having a hero to follow the entire story through. It’s easy to identify with both sides being in the right, which makes it difficult to easily choose a side.
The action, however, is intense and when it picks up it picks up hard and doesn’t let up. As long as you can sit back through the long, drawn out story bits, there are fantastic action scenes that will entertain throughout the entire movie. It’s fun, interesting, and you may find yourself cheering at the screen for some of moves pulled off by Statham and Owen. When those two are on the screen together, you can be sure there’s some great action following.
Killer Elite is a movie that attempts to be deep with its story and characters but falls short. However, the action, especially in the last half hour, will keep you on your toes and is enough to entertain throughout the film. It is a great end of summer action flick, but if you want something with more substance then look elsewhere.