This fall's Killer Elite reads as an appealing (molotov) cocktail of an action flick that unites three big names - Jason Statham, Robert De Niro, and Clive Owen - in front of the camera.
Working from Sir Ranulph Fiennes' purportedly-based-on-true-events novel "The Feather Men", Killer Elite co-writer/director Gary McKendry appears to have engineered a pretty effective action vehicle for the three gentlemen, judging by the recently-released official trailer and clips from the film.
Killer Elite stars Statham as Danny Bryce, a retired member of Britain's Elite Special Air Service who returns to action when his mentor, Hunter (De Niro), is taken captive by a pack of deadly assassins, headed by a cunning figure known as Spike (Owen). And this time - it's personal!
Yes, this kind of sounds like your average Jason Statham thriller at first. Sure enough, the trailer also boasts many a familiar scene of the ex-Olympian, as he smashes through windows, performs gymnastic flips while tied to a chair, and other physics-defying acts that would even Jason Bourne would blanche at. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.
Add De Niro playing a greying, scruffy-haired version of... De Niro (nobody does it better), Owen getting back into Sin City badass mode, Chuck starlet Yvonne Strahovski as Statham's lovely object of affection, and people like Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost) and Dominic Purcell (Prison Break) as fellow professional assassin-types - and Killer Elite sounds like a potentially memorable Statham thriller.
Check out the full-length Killer Elite trailer (via IMDb) below:
While Killer Elite may ultimately amount to nothing more than an average shoot-'em'-up flick, there is something cool about watching De Niro lay the smackdown on his captors in this trailer. Props to McKendry for not going the shaky cam/frantic editing route as well, and instead shooting the fight scenes in such a way that you can actually watch Statham (and his stunt double) crashing into vehicles or punching out people left and right.
Some of the set pieces in Killer Elite even appear to be on the unique side, like the following clips from a chase through an underground, insect-infested tunnel (fair warning: the musical score is a bit reminiscent of Hans Zimmer's Inception soundtrack) - and an odd romantic scene where Statham and Strahovski bond by - what else - firing shots off into the air.
Check out those clips below:
We've already had one decent Statham vehicle this year (The Mechanic) and next year could feature three more action rides with the man, including Echelon, Parker, and (for certain) The Expendables 2. Give him credit: Statham always delivers the kind of hard-hitting violence that his fans are looking for - even when the movie around him fails to impress.
Killer Elite arrives in U.S. theaters on September 23rd, 2011. Will you be checking it out?