Read Nick Allen's review


As my avid fans know, I never read The Book! My philosophy is: If the book is any good, they'll make it into a movie!


That way, I'm never disappointed like so many folk who follow the book reading by seeing the movie adaptation. In my book, the movie is always better than the book, because I never read the book. Needless to say, some films were so bad, I would never be tempted to read the book [if I were so inclined].


Adventurer Ranulph Fiennes, wrote a book a while back titled The Feathermen that exposed how a sheik sent assassins to kill three British SAS (Special Air Service) agents as revenge for the deaths of his sons. Supposedly, Fiennes himself was a target but was saved by another group called the Feathermen.

This may well have been an interesting - perhaps compelling plot on paper, but on the big screen Director Gary McKendry presents a film that - in the end - doesn't make sense.


Jason Statham as Danny and Robert DeNiro as Hunter are mercenaries who, for the right buck, will kill practically anyone. That became tested when, during an ambush, Danny kills all the occupants in a limo but freezes when he sees that the remaining occupant is a child. And, much like Tony Montana in Scarface", he refuses to kill the kid. That resulted in a firefight from which they barely escaped. It was then that Danny decides to retire.


Some time later he is beckoned into service when Hunter is captured and held by a sheik who hired him to kill the SAS guards. Danny goes to Oman to find out what happened and is challenged to fulfill the assassination or watch his friend die. So he sets out to kill this team of highly skilled militia one by one and make it appear it was an accident.


But word gets out that there will be murder and a group of retired SAS agents decide to protect their own. They bring in Spike (Clive Owen) as their own hired gun to take out Danny.

Now begins a cat and mouse game of trying to track Danny before he kills the SAS agents. This is a task that becomes increasingly easy for Spike despite Hunter's so-called prowess as an assassin.


In reality, he would have killed Danny the first time, endo f movie, roll credits... the end.


But this is Hollywood and nothing is that cut and dry.


So Danny repeatedly escapes; narrowly. At no time does Spike show any sign of remorse or any sign of letting up. He intends to kill Danny.

As is typical of Hollywood, a love interest was tossed in, that merely becomes a distraction. Danny's girlfiend back home (played by Yvonne Strahovski) is oblivious to his occupation. She is wondering why he leaves for long periods of time and is unreachable. Forgive me, but wasn't that the same problem Charisma Carpenter had with Statham in 2010s "The Expendables"?


From the opening line of the film The world is in chaos... to the unbelievable ending, McKendry's film does nothing to give me reason to read the book.


"Killer Elite" is uneven and empty when it tries to be balanced with depth. The action sequences are passable, but only leave to the biggest let down in the end. It' finishes with you hoping one character would finish their assignment.   -- GEOFF BURTON