I’m going to be upfront about this: Killer Elite sucks. I’d end this review right here, but then my employers wouldn’t be too happy about that, and I need to make that scrill somehow.
Oh, who am I kidding? I have no employers.
I was literally this close to ending this review right there, so can you just imagine what that would’ve been like and try to get the humor value out of it. Give it a sec. Pretty funny, right?
But since I’m naturally inclined toward prolificism, I just couldn’t stop myself. That’s not even a word, prolificism. I think it sounds better than prolificacy, prolificness, and prolificity, personally, and those are the real options. Clearly, we English speakers are having some amount of trouble settling on that particular noun, though, so I’m not entirely crazy.
Look at me, I try to write a Killer Elite review and this is what happens. God, it was bad.
First of all, this is the only movie that’s ever made me feel like an old person. I had no idea what was going on or why any character was ever doing anything. People were running around with guns, and some of them were shooting at other ones, and I feel like you’ve got to have some reasons if you’re gonna be shootin’ at somebody, but they weren’t sharing their reasons with me, that’s for sure.
The basic premise of the movie is an outdated and hackneyed story format: the three-part quest. There’s this one sort of Arab dude and he wants to kill these three other dudes who are British, so he captures this guy to make this other guy go kill the dudes before he releases the first guy, and he’s doing it all so his son can travel or something, but his son doesn’t even want to go anywhere, and this other British guy is pretty unhappy that a guy is gonna come to kill some of his friends, but we never see any reason why they’re friends, so he decides to stop the killy dude, but there’s some other British guys who don’t really care whether the killy dude is stopped, so they try to stop the guy from stopping the guy, but the killy dude already has problems enough without stoppy guy ’cause he’s busy getting betrayed by at least two dudes, one of whom is…a travel agent?
I guess maybe I was paying attention.
Jason Statham stars as Killy Dude. Robert De Niro co-stars as Other Killy Dude. And Clive Owen plays Stoppy Guy. Jason Statham’s love interest is Yvonne Strahovski, who mostly spends her time not being characterized and sort of worrying vaguely. She never really becomes relevant, except as a symbol of something for Statham to return to. Also, in one scene when Statham comes home, she’s just sort of tossing some bales of hay around. The task looks completely useless. I can just imagine the director going “Yeah, but you can’t just be standing there when he shows up. You have to be doing something.” And one of the set guys is like “Well there’s some random hay here,” and the director goes “Oh yeah. Perfect. Perfect. Just like, toss that hay around a bit,” and Yvonne’s like “What the fuck?” in her Aussie accent, of course. “You want me to just toss some hay around?” And the director goes “Woman, this is only like your second movie role, so if I say you’re gonna throw some god damn hay around, you’d better fucking throw some god damn hay around!!”
I don’t know why there’s so many expletives on that set. Those guys should work on maintaining a better business relationship. Plus, this was the director’s first movie, so he’s got even less experience than she does. Where does he get off? The end result is a scene transition that had the audience laughing.
I did only go to this movie because I have a huge crush on the lovely Yvonne, and I must say, it was a lot better than that soul-destroying The Canyon, but saying that something isn’t soul-destroying is not exactly the highest praise.
So I’m watching this movie, befuddled as a bumpkin, and I think to myself, this is the kind of movie where there has to be more at stake. Statham’s just being played, and soon the truth will have to come out, and maybe he and Owen will have to work together or something. That’d be a twist, but it never really happens. It’s so very very straightforward: They ask him to kill three dudes; he does it. There is one scene with some sort of reveal, but it really wasn’t much of a twist, and I couldn’t understand how it was relevant. And I didn’t even know who the guy was that was explaining the twist. Something about oil or something. I don’t know. Then that guy just dies, and I was trying to figure out whether his explanation changed anything, and I don’t think it did, but at least it was there, so, ya know, they were trying.
Just like they tried with the action, which was watching-grass-grow boring. Every time I endured one of the 10 car chases, I made vows to myself that if I ever write a movie, there will be at least one new thing in every action sequence, just one little thing to set it apart. I’ve never seen such genericism! It’s as if they took all the car chases from all the movies till now, edited out everything remotely interesting, then spliced together the filler. Hmmm, maybe the movie should be called Filler Elite. Heh. I just thought of that.
With De Niro essentially just making an appearance in the movie, we’re left to root for Statham, but he’s this horrible Killy Dude. Most of the time a film finds some way to redeem the main character, even when he’s a killer, but this one never pulls it off. Yeah, he’s trying to get out of the business, but he spends the entire movie killing a bunch of people. I just didn’t see it.
It’s not entirely a bad film though. There’s a single cool chair flip (that’s in the trailer), and a tiny bit of random nudity. And at least it all ties up really well at the end there’s NO RESOLUTION!
Or maybe it should be called Filler Plebeian… Har Har.