Killer Elite stars Jason Statham as Danny, the retired contract killer, Robert De Niro as Hunter, the still going contract killer and Clive Owen as Spike, the ex-SAS mercenary. So don’t expect the best of acting or any deep meaning message.
The basic plot is Danny is coerced into doing a job for an old exiled shiek that holds Hunter hostage. He has to kill the men that killed the oil barons sons, three ex-SAS men, all friends of Spike. So two not-actually-that-bad guys are pitted against each other through circumatance, both just trying to keep their friends alive.
So who’s the bad guy? Later in the film there is a bit of puppet-mastery going on, for oil contracts and large sums of money, but mostly it’s just about getting two badasses in the same room and getting them to beat the stuffing out of each other.
What almost makes this film The Mechanic 2 is that the killings have to look like accidents, to avoid reprisals against the shiek. This means Danny and his team have to go to odd lengths when taking on their targets. They plan the jobs to every detail to get in and out without detection so the target appears to have just dropped dead.
Technically, the film is very well put together. It’s set in 1980, and you believe it. All old cars, grimy looking buildings, smoking indoors and old-style tech. The editing is to the point, you can always tell what’s going on in the action scenes and the flashbacks are put in where a character would take the time to reminisce.
All in all it’s a fun two hours, though not a must-see.