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Fast Paced Action Packed True Story
on January 14, 2012
KILLER ELITE is a true story taken from the book 'The Feather Men' by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, adapted for the screen by Matt Sherring, and directed with an eye toward speed by Gary McKendry. The bit of history that the film addresses is the aftermath of the Dhofar Rebellion launched in the province of Dhofar against the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, which had British support, from 1962 to 1976. It ended with the defeat of the rebels, but the state of Oman had to be radically reformed and modernized to cope with the campaign. The fact that three sons of the Sheik of Oman were killed by the British leaving the Sheik with a strong need for revenge so that he can regain his kingdom by sending his remaining son to a safe land is the springboard for the film's plot.
Before the film's action begins, the Sheik has taken hired assassin Hunter (Robert De Niro) captive because he failed to kill the murderers of his three sons. The film opens in 1980 the exiled Sheik (with his remaining son Bakhait - Firass Dirani) hires Hunter's pupil Danny (Jason Statham), a retired member of Britain's Elite Special Air Service, to kill the three assassins of his sons. A private organization of ex SAS tasks men headed by Spike (Clive Owen) is assigned to protect the British assassins. Covering the globe from Australia to Paris, London and the Middle East, Danny and Hunter, two of the worlds' most elite operatives, are plunged into a highly dangerous game of cat and mouse - where the predators become the prey.
There is plenty of incredible action in the form of one-on-one fights between Statham and Owen, car chases, and other acts of derring-do to keep the film rolling. At times the plot gets muddy and some of the characters are not well defined - those played by Domenic Purcell, Aden Young, Ben Mendelsohn and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in particular. And of course there is the requisite romance between Statham and Yvonne Strahovski, which helps soften the film periodically. But basically this is an action film; the main reason it is of such interest is the fact that it is based on a true story - a story whose history is shared in the closing credits. Definitely a film for Statham/De Niro/Owen fans! Grady Harp, January 12