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Review: Killer Elite

Narrative confusion
By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 20, 2011
2.5 2.5 Stars



First Point Blank and now Killer Elite — isn't there a copyright law about stealing the titles of a better movie? Gary McEndry's espionage thriller isn't bad, but it isn't Peckinpah; all the two films have in common are the title and lots of shooting. A hired assassin, Danny (Jason Statham) quits the profession when one hit nearly takes out a little kid. Retirement doesn't last long, however, as an Omani sheikh holds Danny's mentor (Robert De Niro) hostage until Danny kills the British SAS men who murdered the sheikh's sons. There's not much to choose from when one side kills for money and the other out of fanaticism, a situation which could make for a study of moral ambiguity but here only results in narrative confusion. Statham is blunt as a fist, and De Niro, who spends most of the movie tied up, looks like he's waiting for the catering truck. But as Spike, an SAS man with a greasy moustache, Clive Owen brings sweaty intensity.

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