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Blu-ray Review - KILLER ELITE Is An Action-Packed Espionage Thriller

Killer Elite arrived on Blu-ray and DVD combo pack today, and with it came a heavy mix of action and espionage with a stellar cast. What is not to love about Robert De Niro, Jason Statham, and Clive Owen? The rest of the cast is solid, including Dominic Purcell (Prison Break, Straw Dogs), Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost, Oz, The Thing), Aden Young (Sniper, The Starter Wife), and Ben Mendelsohn (Trespass, Knowing). 

Killer Elite is directed by Gary McKendry and follows two of the world's most elite operatives--Danny, an ex-special ops agent (Statham) and Hunter, his longtime mentor (De Niro)--against the cunning leader of a secret military society (Owen). The group traverses the globe from Australia to Paris, London, and the Middle East, in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

The film is based on the book The Feather Men by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. When I went to see this film in theaters, I wondered just how much of it was came from the "true story?" Having read the book's description, the film seems to stick close to the true story. It is pretty evident in the film, as there is a certain level of authenticity in the intense action sequences. 

I am glad to see De Niro back in an action thriller. Heat is one of my favorite films, and it has been a long time since he's been in a film of that caliber. Of course his acting allowed him to hold his own, and he did not seem out-of-place with the younger Statham and Owen. My only complaint was that he does not have a huge part in the movie, but when he is on screen his presence is felt. Statham, Owen, and Purcell had the most amounts of action in this film. 

What I liked about Killer Elite is that it is a smarter action film than most. The action sequences are explosive, but there is much more to the film than just the action. The movements that both Statham and Owen make against one another feel like a well-thought-out game of chess. Just when you think Statham has the upper hand, Owen pops right back into play.

The pacing was fairly tight throughout the film, almost too tight. I felt that at times there were story elements left out that could have been helpful but would have made the film longer. For instance, it was hard to tell the time lapse between jobs. Statham would be on the job and then would fly home and then go back on the road again, but there was not an explanation of the amount of time that had passed. I know that the film took place over the course of a couple of years, but it still seemed rushed at times.

Killer Elite does not have a huge amount of special features on the disc, which is unfortunate. I would have loved to see a lot more behind-the-scenes videos and interviews with the cast. The film does not even have a directors commentary track, which would have been nice since this was McKendry's first feature film. The disc only has about nine minutes of deleted scenes, all of which make sense as to why they were cut. 

In Conclusion, if you are a fan of espionage thrillers, you are going to love Killer Elite. The fight scenes are well choreographed and the chase sequences will leave you on the edge of your seat. McKendry did a great job directing his first feature film, I look forward to seeing more of his work. 

 

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