BLU-RAY REVIEW: Killer Elite
Statham, DeNiro, and Owen in a no-holds-barred actioner on hi-def home video...
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If you're a fan of Jason Statham, you'll love Killer Elite. It's everything Statham fans love in a movie. Co-starring Robert DeNiro and Clive Owen, both impressive actors in their own right, Killer Elite is a Jason Statham movie through and through and, as I said, if you're a fan of Jason Statham like I am, that's not all bad.
Killer Elite is no where near as neurotic as Crank, has less action than The Transporter, and it's not nearly as thought-provoking as Revolver. Thankfully, it's a solid combination of action, suspense, drama, and espionage that is, according to the box, "based on a true story."
That true story is the "supposedly" non-fiction "true adventure" account by Sir Ranulph Fiennes called The Feather Men. Published in 1991, the novel follows the "supposedly" factual account of a secret society set up to protect a number of British servicemen and former Special Air Service (SAS) members from a hit squad called "The Clinic." Fiennes, who personally says he was saved from these same assassins by this secret society, has been criticized publicly for the book's inaccuracies. In fact, some have even called the book an outright lie and stated the book was completely fabricated. Of course, that didn't stop rookie screenwriter Matt Sherring from adapting the story and first-time feature film director Gary McKendry from bringing the movie to life.
The action is occasionally intense, the suspense is sometimes engaging, and the story - fictional or not - seems well paced, though often convoluted. That said, as I said before, if you're a fan of Jason Statham like I am, you'll still enjoy it. Instead of being a straight-to-video flop, Killer Elite - with veteran actors DeNiro, Owen, and Statham attached - hit the big screen and flopped, making an estimated $25 million gross on a $70 million budget. While the film didn't do well at the box office, that doesn't mean it's not worth a watch on home video.
Killer Elite comes with a gorgeous 1080p video. Textures are perfectly captured, blacks are deep and dangerous looking, and colors are bright and crisp. Overall, the video is just as impressive as the story (if not more so) and helps bring to life the film. Likewise, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is perfectly suited to this film. Bullets crack, explosions rip, and the sound effects fill the speaker range brilliantly. Dialogue is clear and crisp with no distortion. Overall, both video and audio are well made and captured here.
As for special features, there's nothing to really see here. Thirteen deleted scenes make up the sum total of the special features on Killer Elite, disappointing and unimpressive.
If you've seen a spy film, Killer Elite will seem uncannily familiar. There's no real good guys, there are no real bad guys, there are plenty of guns, explosions, car chases, and dangerous looking fights. The characters are all hard-nosed, tough as nails, gun-totting soldiers, ready to fight at the drop of a hat. Of course, thanks to DeNiro, Owen, and Statham in the leads, Killer Elite at least features a solid cast. Of course, it's the unrealistic story that's difficult to swallow. But, and I'll say it one last time, if you're a fan of Jason Statham or this type of action movie and don't mind inaccuracies, unrealistic drama, and illogical action, then Killer Elite might be exactly what you're looking to watch.
Killer Elite is rated R for strong violence, language and some sexuality/nudity and is available now wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley