Killer Elite **+

February 23, 2012 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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Despite having a perfect cast for a title like Killer Elite, Gary McKendry’s feature debut comes across as little more than a generic Jason Statham movie with two high-profile guest stars…writes James Berardinelli.

However, while Clive Owen and Robert De Niro add some star power to this otherwise unassuming motion picture, their presence does not stitch together the seams evident in a hit-or-miss screenplay nor does it enliven the safe and somewhat static approach embraced by McKendry as he feels his way. Killer Elite contains numerous action sequences but too little compelling connective tissue for it to be more than a high octane diversion. This should have been released during the summer.

Killer Elite opens with a caption that informs us it is “based on a true story,” as if that somehow excuses some of the short-cuts and coincidences. In fact, the factuality of the source material, Ranulph Fiennes’ The Feather Men, has been challenged and, in some cases, debunked. There’s probably a kernel of truth lurking somewhere beneath the surface in Killer Elite, but to accept it as anything more than a motion picture interpretation of a largely fictional novel would be a mistake.

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James Berardinelli is a Los Angeles based world-renowned movie reviewer. J-Wire is proud to be associated with him.

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