Certificate 15, 116 minutes
Director: Gary McKendry
Stars: Jason Statham, Clive Owen and Robert De Niro
Killer Elite stars Jason Statham as Danny, a former member of what appear to be a team of mercenaries and/or assassins who has since retired to Australia after he lost the taste for the job after his last contract. The film is set in the 80s, and is claimed to be based on true events. Although Danny has got out of the game, his mentor and friend Hunter (Robert De Niro) hasn't. One year later Hunter is captured and Danny flies to Oman in order to do a job in order to free him.
Danny rejoins former team members Davies (Dominic Purcell) and Meier (Aden Young) to do this one last job. His actions bring him into conflict with former SAS man Spike (Clive Owen) and his shadowy employers (Clive Owen has a very 80s moustache that definitely doesn't suit him). The rest of the film, which is mostly set in London, involves Danny and Spike and their respective teams chasing around and shooting each other whilst blowing things up. There actually is a bit of a plot, cunningly hidden behind the explosions, but it's more a motivation for the violence than the driving force of the film.
Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Killer_Elite_Poster.jpgVery little is known about the history of Danny. He apparently grew up in Australia - the house he is repairing there looks like it was his childhood home - but as played by Statham he doesn't sound remotely Australian. His history that resulted in him becoming an international assassin-for-hire is also unclear. In Australia he meets Anne (Yvonne Strahovski, I, Frankenstein), a girl he apparently knew as a child who provides the film's love interest.
The sides are not really clear cut as to good guys/bad guys. Danny and his crew after all kill people for money. Spike has also by all appearances done some less than nice things on behalf of his employers. Both Danny and Spike are doing what they are doing to protect friends. This makes the film less a good versus evil story and more about two very similar individuals brought into conflict with each other.
Although Killer Elite is supposedly based on actual events. It's based on the book The Feather Men by ex-British Army, SAS demolitions expert and adventurer Ranulph Fiennes. Whether or not the story is actually true has been questioned for years; It was described as "true adventure" by Bloomsbury, the book's publisher, it's been officially denied by the British Government and Fiennes has generally at best been vague as to the actual veracity of the story, although he did apparently admit it was a work of fiction to a family member of one of the (real) people who dies in the film.
Ignoring whether or not Killer Elite is a true story - even if The Feather Men was, the film is doubtless a very fictionalised version - judged on its own merits, it's a typical Statham film. Lots of action, violence, shooting and explosions, with Statham as always extremely proficient in all forms of violence. If you're a fan of Statham or these types of films, you'll enjoy Killer Elite. Just ignore the true story bit.
Certificate 15, 116 minutes
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- "Family of 'murdered' SAS major hit back at Sir Ranulph Fiennes over Hollywood film." The Telegraph. 09/07/2012