Killer Elite

Year: 2012
Production Co: Omnilab Media
Director: Gary McKendry
Writer: Matt Sherring
Cast: Jason Statham, Robert De Niro, Clive Owen, Yvonne Strahovski, Dominic Purcell, Aden Young, Ben Mendelsohn, Lachy Hulme

For such accomplished actors in the action and thriller genres, it's amazing how banal this action thriller is.

Although when you look deeper, Robert De Niro hasn't given us a role worthy of his talent since Heat in 1995, Jason Statham is this century's Arnold Schwarzenegger (he can only play Jason Statham) and Clive Owen's always struck me as having ideas above his station when it comes to his talents. So on reflection, maybe it's the perfect film for an automaton, a has-been and a wannabe.

Either way Jason is a mercenary for hire when his mentor and partner (De Niro) is captured by bad guys who want to blackmail him into doing that most hoary of cinematic tropes, One Final Job. He and his team of B list Australian actors (it was all shot in and around Melbourne) have to track down a gang of murderous British SAS soldiers who killed the sons of a powerful Arabic nobleman in battle or he'll kill the old man.

Nothing about it puts a foot wrong, but for the same reason nothing about it stands out. It's based (probably by the merest of connections) to some sort of true story set in the early 80s, and it all amounts to a lot of noise and all three doing what they do best (or just as accurately, worst). produced by Omnilab media, it's another failed example of Australian filmmakers trying to make American movies.

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