‘Bourne’-type tough guy match made in heaven

2011-10-24 00:00

THIS is a right rocking Saturday night boys’night out movie, which is exactly how I treated it. And it hit the spot perfectly. Bourne-type fight sequences, steely gazes and a topping of cheesy one-liners are all a real man needs on the weekend, right?

Killer Elite is for the most part a usual Jason Statham vehicle, with two guest stars in Clive Owen and Robert de Niro. In the absence of a contemporary Stallone and Schwarzenegger, you could argue that Statham is filling the void in the 21st century.

The story is set in 1981 and centres around the revenge plot of Omar, a sheik who hires a professional assassin, Danny (Statham), to kill the British SAS officers responsible for his sons’ deaths. As collateral, the sheik captures Danny’s partner, Hunter (De Niro), who will be released only upon completion of the triple killing. To make matters more difficult, Danny is required to obtain videotaped confessions from each man and to make the murders seem like accidents. His crew are the burly Davies (Prison Break’s Dominic Purcell) and technically savvy Meier (Aden Young).

Enter Spike, an ex-SAS operative and head of a secret society called the Feather Men, who opposes their mission. This is where the gamesmanship begins, and it’s a tough-guy match made in heaven.

It’s all pretty routine, straightforward and predictable, and Gary McKendry’s directing debut attracted some disappointing reviews.

Statham is the real deal though in this role. He’s an imposing physical presence onscreen without being a hulk, and manages enough gruff charisma for the lead action role that you actually forget how dull the entire story is. ***

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