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KILLER ELITE

EYE FOR AN EYE LEAVES EVERYONE CONFUSED

THEATRICAL REVIEW
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By Jess Fenton
21st February 2012

When ex-special ops agent Danny’s (Jason Statham) mentor Hunter (Robert De Niro) is taken captive by a vindictive Sheik, he’s forced to kill three former SAS agents and document their confessions to killing the Sheik’s sons in order to gain Hunter’s freedom. When Spike (Clive Owen), another former SAS agent learns of these deaths he seeks out the culprit and his team for some justice of his own, forcing the players into an elite game of cat and mouse.

Shot in Melbourne in 2010, this “based on true events” story is a little hard to follow, forcing its Australian audience to sit there trying to recognise Melbourne locations filling in for Oman and other international regions, as well as play “spot the local talent”, with appearances from Ben Mendelsohn, Lachy Hulme, Aden Young and Firass Dirani of 'Underbelly' fame.

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While the actions of the characters are easy enough to keep up with, it’s the big picture tying them all together that gets a bit muddled and leaves you asking “Who cares?”. The third act of the film changes direction and speeds with multiple time jumps, proving too much time was spent on the first two thirds of the film, which by that stage are irrelevant and only add to an overly-long film.

Jason Statham is Jason Statham; effortlessly kicking arse and taking names in some beautifully choreographed action sequences. De Niro's appearances are few and far between, making you question why he’s even in this film. Dominic Purcell provides the film's only light moments and is almost unrecognisable, donning sunglasses everywhere he goes and sporting a Merv Hughes mo with supreme confidence. Yvonne Strahovski is the only female in the cast as Statham’s love interest. She spends the first half of the film appearing in flashbacks, only to suddenly become a member in the present, making her character all the more out of place and superfluous. Her character Anne, an attempt to make Danny more human, grounded and sympathetic only adds to the the film's clunkiness. Given the great cast, this movie deserved better attention, direction and substance.

Jason Statham is Jason Statham; effortlessly kicking arse and taking names in some beautifully choreographed action sequences.

While the film plays a little weak, it certainly contains an intriguing story. I suggest buying Ranulph Fiennes’ book on which it’s based first to determine whether or not the film is worth a look. Personally, I’d stick with the ‘Bourne’ series.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 23/02/2012
RUN TIME: 1h 56m
CAST: Jason Statham
Clive Owen
Robert De Niro
Dominic Purcell
Yvonne Strahovski
Aden Young
Ben Mendelsohn
Adewale Akinnuoye-agbaje
David Whiteley
Matthew Nable
DIRECTOR: Gary McKendry
PRODUCERS: Michael Boughen
Steve Chasman
Sigurjón Sighvatsson
Tony Winley
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