- May 9, 2003
Killer Elite is a movie that struggles to be more than the sum of its parts but winds up as just a run of the mill action programmer. It’s a standard Jason Statham action film, buttressed by the casting of Robert De Niro and Clive Owen, which follows the usual mode of the “man of few words” being pressed back into service for one last mission. Some of the action scenes have an interesting kick to them, but nothing that elevates the proceedings out of the ordinary. The Blu-ray release provides solid picture and sound, along with a few deleted scenes. Fans of the cast may be interested in renting the title, but there honestly are many action films with Jason Statham that are more memorable than this one.
Studio: Universal/Open Road Films/Omnilab Media/Ambience Entertainment
Release Year: 2011
Length: 1 hr 57 mins
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
BD Resolution and Codec: 1080p, AVC (@ an average 30 mbps)
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (@ an average 3.8 mbps, up to 5.0 during big scenes)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Film Rating: R (Strong Violence, Language, Sexuality/Nudity)
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Starring: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro, Dominic Purcell, Aden Young, Yvonne Strahovski, Ben Mendelsohn
Written by: Matt Sherring
Inspired by the book “The Feather Men” by Ranulph Fiennes
Directed by: Gary McKendry
Review Rating: 2/5
Killer Elite clearly wants to be a tough, gritty period action film. It’s got great locations from Australia to Mexico, it’s got a ready cast including Jason Statham and Robert De Niro at his grittiest, and it’s got a great action premise – that of mercenaries hunting SAS men. So what went wrong here? Well, to be honest, it’s not that anything went wrong. It’s just that nothing particularly interesting happens. The movie centers around Danny (Statham), a retired mercenary who has tired of the life of a hired gun. Predictably, he’s pressed back into it for one final mission, and as his team goes to work, they’re tracked by an elite group, whose field man (Clive Owen) turns the situation into a personal vendetta. In theory, this should yield some great action set pieces and some good hand-to-hand fight scenes. And yes, we do see a few big bangs, and a few punchouts. But nothing really registers, either in the visceral way a good action film can stir a viewer, or in anything more substantive. The movie simply plods along from situation to situation until it finally peters out. If I had to point in any direction here, it would be the flatness of both the script and of the direction. Fans of Jason Statham or Clive Owen may want to rent this, but there are honestly an armload of movies with each actor that are more interesting and worthwhile.
Killer Elite was released on Blu-ray and DVD last Tuesday. The Blu-ray edition contains high definition picture and audio of the movie and a few deleted scenes. The usual Blu-ray functionality is here, including pocket BLU and BD-Live. A digital copy and ultraviolet copy can be accessed via instructions found on an insert in the packaging. The standard definition DVD is also included in the packaging.
VIDEO QUALITY 4 ½/5
Killer Elite is presented in a 2.40:1 1080p AVC encode that presents a variety of locales and flesh tones very nicely indeed. On a strictly technical level, this is a satisfying release.
AUDIO QUALITY 4/5
Killer Elite gets a solid English DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix, which provides plenty of work for the subwoofer and provides a fair amount of atmosphere throughout. Again, on a technical level, this is a great release.
SPECIAL FEATURES 1 ½/5
Killer Elite comes with a few deleted scenes, presented in high definition. There’s also the usual Blu-ray functionality. Instructions for downloading a digital copy and obtaining an ultraviolet copy of the movie are included in the packaging. The standard definition DVD edition is also included in the packaging.
Deleted Scenes (9:43 Total, 1080p) – Thirteen deleted scenes are presented in high definition. There’s nothing earth shattering here – really just additional moments with Jason Statham or Clive Owen that provide additional glimmers about their characters. Many of the scenes are 30 seconds long or less. The scenes can be viewed individually or via a “Play All” function. One interesting note – the scenes are not titled but instead are identified only by number.
pocket BLU – The usual pocket BLU functionality is present here.
BD-Live – The usual BD-Live functionality is present, including a few online trailers that play as soon as you put the disc in your internet-connected player.
Digital Copy/Ultraviolet – Instructions for downloading a digital copy of the movie or obtaining an ultraviolet copy are included in the packaging. The copies must be accessed by December 31, 2012.
DVD Edition – The standard definition DVD of the movie is also included in the packaging. It presents the movie in standard definition with a Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix (at 448 kbps), and presents the same deleted scenes from the Blu-ray, in standard definition.
The movie and the special features are subtitled in English and Spanish. The usual pop-up menu is present, along with a complete chapter menu.
IN THE END...
Killer Elite is an unexceptional action movie with a good cast but with a flat script and flat direction. The picture and sound quality of the Blu-ray are good, but the underlying movie isn’t interesting enough to merit much attention. Fans of the cast may wish to rent this, but there honestly isn’t much to see here.
January 16, 2012.
Equipment now in use in this Home Theater:
Panasonic 65” VT30 Plasma 3D HDTV – set at “THX” picture mode
Denon AVR-3311Cl Receiver
Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray Player
PS3 Player (used for calculation of bitrates for picture and sound)
5 Mirage Speakers (Front Left/Center/Right, Surround Back Left/Right)
2 Sony Speakers (Surround Left/Right – middle of room)
Martin Logan Dynamo 700 Subwoofer