KILLER ELITE

Script Problems Hamper Action Plot

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: September 23, 2011

Starring: ** Script Problems Hamper
Action Plot **

Genre: Thriller

Audience: Older teenagers and adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 100 minutes

Distributor: Open Road Films

Director: Gary McKendry

Executive Producer: Peter D. Graves, Christopher
Mapp, Matthew Street, David
Whealy, Bill Johnson

Producer: Michael Boughen, Steve
Chasman, Sigurjon Sighvatsson,
Tony Winley

Writer: Gary McKendry

Address Comments To:

Tom Ortenberg, CEO
Open Road Films
12301 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: (310) 571-2200
Fax: (310) 571-2278
Website: www.openroadfilms.com

Content:

(RoRo, B, C, AP, LLL, VV, S, N, A, D, M) Strong Romantic worldview offset by some moral, redemptive elements, with an anti-patriotic plot attacking a staunch ally of America, Great Britain, for British activities in Oman in the Middle East several decades ago to support an autocratic sultan, who was eventually replaced by his more compassionate son, who eventually had to stop the country’s insurgents, who had been taken over by Marxist and Maoist left-wing ideologues; more than 90 obscenities and profanities; frequent action violence includes shooting, fighting, car crashes, car caravan ambushed, explosions, man sees a young child in his victims’ car and stops shooting to protect the child, killings, stabbings; implied fornication and sounds of sexual relations; brief upper female nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, kidnapping, threats, numerous double-crosses and betrayals, deceit uncovered.

Summary:

KILLER ELITE is an action thriller about a retired mercenary and former special ops agent who goes back into action when his mentor and friend is kidnapped. KILLER ELITE could have used a better, less confusing script to complement its exciting action scenes. It also suffers from extensive foul language and brief lewd content.

Review:

A thriller set amid roiling Middle East tensions, KILLER ELITE tries to be clever in its opening scroll, which appears to describe current events in that troubled region before revealing that the movie actually takes place 30 years ago. Ironically, while the movie is competent and passable action entertainment, the entire enterprise feels like dozens of interchangeable action movies from the ‘80s.

The movie kicks into high gear, however, from its opening moments, as two mercenaries, Hunter (Robert DeNiro) and Danny (Jason Statham), are shown waiting in Mexico for a caravan carrying an important figure to arrive so they can explode the main vehicle and shoot the leaders dead. When their quarry’s bodyguards return unexpectedly strong fire, Danny finds an innocent child hiding in the bloody back seat of the car where he was aiming his gun. Danny has an attack of conscience, freezes up and gets shot.

Injured and disgusted with the violence of his career, Danny retires to a peaceful countryside home. Then, he receives a package containing a photo of Hunter and a warning that Hunter has been kidnapped. To ensure his friend’s release, Danny has to come out of retirement and agree to a mission where he’s expected to assassinate British special ops agents who killed the three oldest sons of an Arab sheik during the British Britain’s involvement in protecting the government of Oman in the Persian Gulf. If he doesn’t take the assignment, Hunter dies.

Since Hunter is Danny’s best friend and lifelong mentor, Danny feels obligated to take the job and proceeds to round up a deadly team of fellow assassins eager to help. As they set out on their quest of revenge killings, Danny becomes ever more conflicted over the brutality and deaths he and his cohorts cause. When Danny’s team discovers they’re being chased in turn by a secret British agent named Spike (Clive Owen), who’s actually the trying to protect the rogue agents they’re hoping to kill, the double-crosses mount. However, Spike comes to realize even his strings are being pulled by a powerful secret society of British elite called the Feather Men and that he’s being played for evil purposes. Ultimately, Spike teams with Danny and Hunter to disrupt the Feather Men’s evil plans.

With three powerful stars in the lead, KILLER ELITE has better actors than its pedestrian script deserves. While the action scenes are often crisp, and there’s an odd fun to be had in seeing DeNiro buried beneath a scruffy beard and firing a machine gun in several scenes, ultimately the movie feels like a thousand other action films with men doublecrossing and killing each other in allegedly exotic locales that nonetheless look like they were filmed cheaply. Beneath his scruffy grey beard, DeNiro looks shockingly old and weary. Sadly, it may not be because of his character. On the plus side, seeing Statham’s character of Danny explore his conscience and strive for a better life of peace adds an admirable, morally uplifting level of humanity to the story, along with the fact that all three men ultimately team up for what the movie portrays as a good cause.

Some viewers may find fault with the movie’s political slant, depending on how deeply familiar they are with the alleged scandals concerning Britain’s support in the 1950s and 60s for the sultan in the country of Oman, located near the Persian Gulf. Thus, there is a slight attack on a staunch ally of America, Great Britain, for British activities in Oman in the Middle East several decades ago to support an autocratic sultan, who was eventually replaced by his more compassionate son, who eventually had to stop the country’s insurgents, who had been taken over by Marxist and Maoist left-wing ideologues.

The filmmakers keep their focus mostly, however, on the movie’s frequent gunfights, hairbreadth escapes and car chases. Thus, KILLER ELITE may provide passable entertainment for adult action-movie fans who don’t demand much in the way of good writing.

KILLER ELITE seems to have a Romantic worldview. That’s slightly mitigated by some moral, redemptive elements. For example, the main protagonist, Danny, eventually retires from his life of violence and refuses to take bloodmoney. Even so, KILLER ELITE also contains extensive foul language and an implied sex scene involving brief nudity.

In Brief:

KILLER ELITE is an action thriller about a retired mercenary and former special ops agent, Danny, who goes back into action when his mentor and friend, Hunter, is kidnapped. To save Hunter’s life, Danny is forced to assemble a team to kill three British special ops agents who allegedly murdered an Arab sheikh’s three eldest sons. Danny’s team comes up against a man sworn to protect leading the rogue agents, named Spike. Ultimately, Danny and Spike learn they’re both being played by a secret cabal working among British elite. After rescuing Hunter, they team up to foil the group’s dastardly plans.

KILLER ELITE could have used a less confusing script to complement its exciting action scenes. The movie also has a Romantic worldview. That’s slightly mitigated by some moral, redemptive elements. For example, the main protagonist eventually retires from his life of violence and refuses to take bloodmoney. Even so, KILLER ELITE contains extensive foul language, intense action violence and an implied sex scene with brief nudity, so extreme caution is advised. Cleaning up the script’s lewd content and awkwardness would have made KILLER ELITE a more satisfying action thriller.

HEADLINE: ** Script Problems Hamper Action Plot **

Title: KILLER ELITE

Quality: * * Acceptability: -2

SUBTITLES: None

WARNING CODES:

Language: LLL

Violence: VV

Sex: S

Nudity: NN

RATING: R

RELEASE: September 23, 2011

TIME: 100 minutes

STARRNG: Robert DeNiro, Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Dominic Purcell, Yvonne Strahovsky, Aden Young, Rodney Afif

DIRECTOR: Gary McKendry

PRODUCERS: Michael Boughen, Steve Chasman, Sigurjon Sighvatsson, Tony Winley

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Peter D. Graves, Christopher Mapp, Matthew Street, David Whealy, Bill Johnson

WRITER: Gary McKendry

BASED ON THE NOVEL: THE FEATHER MEN by Ranulph Fiennes

DISTRIBUTOR: Open Road Films

CONTENT: (RoRo, B, C, AP, LLL, VV, S, N, A, D, M) Strong Romantic worldview offset by some moral, redemptive elements, with an anti-patriotic plot attacking a staunch ally of America, Great Britain, for British activities in Oman in the Middle East several decades ago to support an autocratic sultan, who was eventually replaced by his more compassionate son, who eventually had to stop the country’s insurgents, who had been taken over by Marxist and Maoist left-wing ideologues; more than 90 obscenities and profanities; frequent action violence includes shooting, fighting, car crashes, car caravan ambushed, explosions, man sees a young child in his victims’ car and stops shooting to protect the child, killings, stabbings; implied fornication and sounds of sexual relations; brief upper female nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, kidnapping, threats, numerous double-crosses and betrayals, deceit uncovered.

GENRE: Thriller

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Older teenagers and adults

REVIEWER: Carl Kozlowski

REVIEW: A thriller set amid roiling Middle East tensions, KILLER ELITE tries to be clever in its opening scroll, which appears to describe current events in that troubled region before revealing that the movie actually takes place 30 years ago. Ironically, while the movie is competent and passable action entertainment, the entire enterprise feels like dozens of interchangeable action movies from the ‘80s.

The movie kicks into high gear, however, from its opening moments, as two mercenaries, Hunter (Robert DeNiro) and Danny (Jason Statham), are shown waiting in Mexico for a caravan carrying an important figure to arrive so they can explode the main vehicle and shoot the leaders dead. When their quarry’s bodyguards return unexpectedly strong fire, Danny finds an innocent child hiding in the bloody back seat of the car where he was aiming his gun. Danny has an attack of conscience, freezes up and gets shot.

Injured and disgusted with the violence of his career, Danny retires to a peaceful countryside home. Then, he receives a package containing a photo of Hunter and a warning that Hunter has been kidnapped. To ensure his friend’s release, Danny has to come out of retirement and agree to a mission where he’s expected to assassinate British special ops agents who killed the three oldest sons of an Arab sheik during the British Britain’s involvement in protecting the government of Oman in the Persian Gulf. If he doesn’t take the assignment, Hunter dies.

Since Hunter is Danny’s best friend and lifelong mentor, Danny feels obligated to take the job and proceeds to round up a deadly team of fellow assassins eager to help. As they set out on their quest of revenge killings, Danny becomes ever more conflicted over the brutality and deaths he and his cohorts cause. When Danny’s team discovers they’re being chased in turn by a secret British agent named Spike (Clive Owen), who’s actually the trying to protect the rogue agents they’re hoping to kill, the double-crosses mount. However, Spike comes to realize even his strings are being pulled by a powerful secret society of British elite called the Feather Men and that he’s being played for evil purposes. Ultimately, Spike teams with Danny and Hunter to disrupt the Feather Men’s evil plans.

With three powerful stars in the lead, KILLER ELITE has better actors than its pedestrian script deserves. While the action scenes are often crisp, and there’s an odd fun to be had in seeing DeNiro buried beneath a scruffy beard and firing a machine gun in several scenes, ultimately the movie feels like a thousand other action films with men doublecrossing and killing each other in allegedly exotic locales that nonetheless look like they were filmed cheaply. Beneath his scruffy grey beard, DeNiro looks shockingly old and weary. Sadly, it may not be because of his character. On the plus side, seeing Statham’s character of Danny explore his conscience and strive for a better life of peace adds an admirable, morally uplifting level of humanity to the story, along with the fact that all three men ultimately team up for what the movie portrays as a good cause.

Some viewers may find fault with the movie’s political slant, depending on how deeply familiar they are with the alleged scandals concerning Britain’s support in the 1950s and 60s for the sultan in the country of Oman, located near the Persian Gulf. Thus, there is a slight attack on a staunch ally of America, Great Britain, for British activities in Oman in the Middle East several decades ago to support an autocratic sultan, who was eventually replaced by his more compassionate son, who eventually had to stop the country’s insurgents, who had been taken over by Marxist and Maoist left-wing ideologues.

The filmmakers keep their focus mostly, however, on the movie’s frequent gunfights, hairbreadth escapes and car chases. Thus, KILLER ELITE may provide passable entertainment for adult action-movie fans who don’t demand much in the way of good writing.

KILLER ELITE seems to have a Romantic worldview. That’s slightly mitigated by some moral, redemptive elements. For example, the main protagonist, Danny, eventually retires from his life of violence and refuses to take bloodmoney. Even so, KILLER ELITE also contains extensive foul language and an implied sex scene involving brief nudity.

Please address your comments to:

Tom Ortenberg, CEO

Open Road Films

12301 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 600

Los Angeles, CA 90025

Phone: (310) 571-2200

Fax: (310) 571-2278

Website: www.openroadfilms.com

SUMMARY: KILLER ELITE is an action thriller about a retired mercenary and former special ops agent who goes back into action when his mentor and friend is kidnapped. KILLER ELITE could have used a better, less confusing script to complement its exciting action scenes. It also suffers from extensive foul language and brief lewd content.

IN BRIEF:

KILLER ELITE is an action thriller about a retired mercenary and former special ops agent, Danny, who goes back into action when his mentor and friend, Hunter, is kidnapped. To save Hunter’s life, Danny is forced to assemble a team to kill three British special ops agents who allegedly murdered an Arab sheikh’s three eldest sons. Danny’s team comes up against a man sworn to protect leading the rogue agents, named Spike. Ultimately, Danny and Spike learn they’re both being played by a secret cabal working among British elite. After rescuing Hunter, they team up to foil the group’s dastardly plans.

KILLER ELITE could have used a less confusing script to complement its exciting action scenes. The movie also has a Romantic worldview. That’s slightly mitigated by some moral, redemptive elements. For example, the main protagonist eventually retires from his life of violence and refuses to take bloodmoney. Even so, KILLER ELITE contains extensive foul language, intense action violence and an implied sex scene with brief nudity, so extreme caution is advised. Cleaning up the script’s lewd content and awkwardness would have made KILLER ELITE a more satisfying action thriller.