There’s nothing worse than being called back to do a job you previously said “To hell with it” to. In the case of Danny Bryce (Jason Statham), he has turned his back on a career of doing that whole secret, covert, stealthy, black-ops “The Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions” hush-hush kind of stuff. You know, that “strictly on the QT” kind of thing. Yeah, I think you get the idea. So, anyway, after the job proves to be a little too much on his conscious, Danny retires — but is soon pulled back in when his old mercenary colleague (Robert De Niro) is kidnapped by a Sheikh intent on extracting revenge towards the British SAS agents responsible for the murder of his offspring during a war.
Purportedly a true story, and based off Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ novel, The Feather Men, Killer Elite is one long jumbled journey into the world of espionage in the early ’80s, to wit most of the supporting cast sports outrageous moustaches and hairdos — while Statham and De Niro look exactly as they usually do in movies. The action scenes are pretty durn good (save for a horrible scene of CGI or two), while the rest of the flick seems to be searching for its inspiration throughout, and cuts away to an adventurous moment whene’er it feels the need to fill the void. In a film full of nothing but bad guys, Clive Owen plays one of the many nemeses ready to bust a cap in someone’s ass — and he looks, er, well, I really dunno what he’s doing here.
Even fans of the usual variety of onscreen Jason Statham carnage (and this film is no exception) will probably find this one to be a little lifeless. Personally, I found Killer Elite to be a good film to fold your laundry (or write a review) to, but that was about it. I think Universal Studios Home Entertainment must have recognized that fact, as well, since they only added a small handful of special features here, including thirteen (short) deleted scenes and that’s about it. Fortunately, though, they made up for it with first-rate presentations in the audio and video departments. Alas, that’s about all Killer Elite has to offer.