I really didn’t know much about this ‘based on a true story’ action flick, aside from it boasting an impressive cast with Jason Statham, Robert DeNiro and Clive Owen sitting at the top of the movies food chain. The plot, set in 1981, follows Stathams mercenary character as he is reluctantly pressed into the service of an ailing Arab sheik who craves nothing more than to have three British Ex-special forces troops wiped out for the murders of 3 of his own sons. In order to light a fire under Stathams ass, the sheik has taken DeNiros ‘partner-to-Statham’ character hostage, in Oman. What unfolds is essentially a typical Statham-style gritty action flick that, at its heart, wants to be Spielbergs (excellent) Munich (2005). There are car chases, shoot-outs, fist fights, elaborate plots, assassinations, secret societies, and a really bad mustache on Clive Owen. The hand-to-hand combat in this flick stands out as a definite plus; being vicious brawls in which a lot of shit (and people) gets smashed apart and thrown around. Statham and Owen put on a stand-out show when they go head-long at each other, with a vengeance, in a cramped, glass-filled room. The kinetic gunfights are handled well too; held aloft on quick bursts of tightly cut action. There is simply no denying that this multi-national espionage thriller falls under the ACTION MOVIE banner. On the negative side, however, we are handed a very unconvincing and unnecessary love story, as well as a running time that could’ve benefitted from a trim. I also found that the desaturated look of the film could’ve used a ‘brightening’. I ‘get’ that it was the directors intent but I still found it bleaker-looking than it needed to be. But…small cookies. It’s not the best flick of this type but by no means is it the worst. If you’re a Statham fan…or want to see elderly DeNiro playing with assault rifles…or wonder what freaks you out more: Owen’s porno mustache or his gimpy eyeball, Killer Elite (terrible title, BTW) will nicely squeeze your ass on the dance floor.
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