After waking up from my Killer Elite induced slumber, I was trying to remember why we wanted to watch this in the first place. In some part it was because we needed to connect through Amsterdam and Robert De Niro was sitting right there for us. Hard to pass up a screen legend when you have a chance to get him in the Chain. But really we can all admit it’s really because this film had not one, but two different slang terms for “good” in the title. It was both killer and elite… in reality it was neither, but we just simply had to watch it for the Good Movie Cycle. So to sum it up, we are on quite the streak of films that were picked entirely based on their title. Fresh Horses was all about dem horses… Killer Elite was all about words that make the film sound “good” when in fact the film is not good. Great.
To recap, Jason Statham is an elite killer. After a job goes wrong and he kills a target in front of their daughter, he decides to call it quits. Fast forward a year and he’s living his best life in Australia spending QT with his GF. But uh oh! Looks like he’s getting pulled back into the game. That’s because his best friend/elderly person Robert De Niro got caught up in a big money job to kill some elite British killers. Seeing that they were just too elite for his blood, he tried to pull out, but the uber wealthy Omani isn’t having any of that. Statham is like “fine, I’ll do it” and assembles a team. They go about creating elaborate situations in which their targets are killed, but it looks like an accident, and also they admit on camera that they indeed killed the people they are accused of killing. It’s so elaborate and nonsensical you would think we were watching Mechanic: Resurrection… but we aren’t. It’s not that elaborate. Anyway, in the course of getting information they begin to be tracked by the Feather Men, a group that influences British policy with a light touch. Clive Owen is tasked with tracking them. By the time they get to the last target Statham is under constant surveillance. This will be their most elaborate scheme yet! Turns out it’s a bit too elaborate because pretty much everyone dies. Although Statham is able to get the target and fake a confession. He gets Boddy D out and he heads home. THE END… psych! We got one last super elaborate killing left! The writer of the books that the film is based on also needs a good killing. Statham gets his scheme on, but ends up faking the final death. Why? Cause he’s just like… done, man. Done with elite killing. Clive Owen is like “fuck that,” and goes and tattles on him, kills the Omani, and takes the money. Statham catched up with him just to tell him “I’m done with elite killing, so don’t mess with me again,” and he goes back to Australia for more QT with the GF. THE END.
I just couldn’t deal with this movie. It’s a “very serious” version of Mechanic: Resurrection that runs far too long and has Dominic Purcell as the fourth lead… fourth! Not interested. That’s a hard pass from me. That’s even giving the film some credit for having some pretty good action scenes. I can definitely believe that there are fans of this movie and it has a surprisingly high IMDb rating to prove it. I’m just not one of them. I do have to shout out Robert De Niro for taking a role where he’s barely on screen and the premise of his character is “I really wanted a big paycheck so I agreed to something, but when I realized what it was I tried to back out, but they won’t let me, so now I’m being held captive until all this is over.” That’s some meta shit, Bobby.
Hot Take Clam Bake! Imagine a world where Statham is like “I’m good,” and leaves De Niro. He gives into the scheme far too easily and for what? Old man rivers who at like 70 years old couldn’t help but get wrapped up in this bullshit? Nope. No. Stay in Australia and have a great time with your GF. Don’t need the money, don’t need the headache. As a result a dozen people aren’t dead as a bonus… except for De Niro. He is definitely killed. But that’s his problem. Hot Take Temperature: Carolina Reaper.
‘Ello everyone! Killer Elite? More like Barely Complete, amirite? A true murders row of British people who you remember used to be quite famous in the early 2010s (and Robert De Niro somehow). Let’s go!
- Is Jason Statham still a movie star? Let’s investigate. He has a movie coming out this very week, that’s a check in the movie-star box. That movie is something I’ve never heard of, so let’s put that in the not-movie-star box. But then again, it has already made $30 million internationally … so maybe he’s an international movie star still? He made The Meg in 2018, and was still hanging around the Fast & Furious franchise as well … I think he’s still a movie star.
- Just peeked at his upcoming slate though. The Meg 2, Fast X, Spy 2, and The Expendables 4?! Yeah definitely still a movie star. Jesus.
- Clive Owen isn’t though, he’s kind of slowly ended up being a prestige television star.
- And at age 79 Robert De Niro is … somehow. I mean, when he’s not playing a grandpa in bad comedies.
- I guess the point is this: once upon a time this was an eye popping cast. Like: Statham, De Niro, and Clive Owen! Wowza. That level. Now? It feels like an odd relic of a time long ago.
- Oh it should be pointed out that the most amusing bit of this entire movie is that it is based on a book, and that 100% of people involved in the real incidents being discussed basically call it a load of crap and hate the guy who wrote it. The guy who wrote it is a character in the film, and … I don’t know, it is really bizarre. Go read his biography. He’s Ralph Fiennes’s distant cousin or something and was at one point dismissed from the army for trying to blow up the set of the Doctor Doolittle musical from the 60s. It is insane and the only thing interesting about this film.
- A few of the action scenes are fun. Like running through the tunnels of bees and stuff. That is probably the bread and butter of the film.
- But the acting is terrible, the writing is terrible, and I feel like the direction (outside of action) is also sub-par. It is a sub-par movie, and pretty boring to boot.
- I did vaguely like the story of Statham’s childhood friend turned lover in Australia. If only because it gave me the phrase “girl in the red gumboots” which I can use places like the Quiz. That’ll be a gift that will keep on giving … for a month, then I’ll forget about this movie forever.
- I have to give a Setting as a Character (Where?) to Yemen, I’m surprised it has never come up before. Wait, should I add it to the map … I guess I should. For a film about revenge and conspiracies and secret societies there is shockingly little in the way of a MacGuffin. Closest to Bad, just boring nonsense.
Check out the continuing adventures of Brundlefly Jr. in Killer Elite 2: The Boy in the Red Gumboots. I told you I was going to get some mileage out of that. Cheerios,