Killer Elite

Cast can't save this piece of mundane overkill

click to enlarge Robert De Niro and Jason Statham in Killer Elite
Robert De Niro and Jason Statham in Killer Elite

What happens when you combine Jason Statham (The Transporter series) with Clive Owen (Shoot ’Em Up) and Robert De Niro (Heat)? First-time feature writer-director Gary McKendry wastes their combined talents and action skills with a narrative that is supposed to be based on a true story (inspired by Ranulph Fiennes’s examination into the British Secret Services and their role in Middle East military and political affairs) but, in the end, the historical facts are little more than a MacGuffin leading this hit squad around on one deadeningly anonymous and pointless kill after another.

Danny (Statham) leads a covert team that takes on specialized hits, but tires of the close calls and decides to opt out for life in the Australian outback until his mentor Hunter (De Niro) is kidnapped. Somehow, Danny’s return to the killing fields puts him on a collision course with Spike (Owen), another top-secret spy dude with his own team and a hunger to be the big dog in the pen. Each team kills people, and not with all that much flair or complexity. We’re supposed to care, I assume, because we’re watching these three elite action heroes, right? Unfortunately, this is just kill and kill again and again and again, so let’s call it mundane overkill and be done with it. Grade: F

Opens Sept. 23. Check out theaters and show times, see the trailer and get theater details here.
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