Time Out Rio de Janeiro

Killer Elite

Action-by-numbers in this '80s-style thriller.

Killer Elite

Opens 2 Dec 2011

Director Gary McKendry

Cast Jason Statham, Robert de Niro, Clive Owen

Killer Elite website

Killer Elite website

With a beefcake physique suggesting oncoming harm, Jason Statham would have made a great ’80s action hero. But acknowledging that he could have kicked ass back then and having to endure a new muscle-neck magnum opus are different, as this proves. Danny (Statham) is revered in the world of espionage. But as much as he likes blowing up stuff beside his mentor (Robert De Niro, feisty), Danny is tired. His retirement is cut short when a pal is kidnapped by a sheikh who wants those who murdered his sons. One of the killers (Clive Owen) isn’t going gently into the night.

Cue black-ops missions, chest beating, clever quips and too many elbows to the face to count. By the time Statham beats the snot out of someone while tied to a chair, the Clancy-lite skullduggery and schlocky dialogue has worn your patience. A few awesome fire fights does not an action film make, and even De Niro’s ‘Ronin’-esque interlude can’t shake the feeling that the thrill, like the ’80s, is gone.

Words by David Fear

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