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Movie Review

Danny is a seasoned special-ops killing machine who knows his job inside and out, backward and forward. Eliminating targeted individuals has pretty much been his life for quite a while now. And he and his father-figure partner, Hunter, make for one unstoppable team.

Then something goes terribly wrong. In the midst of a deadly assignment, Danny is shaken to the core. Wounded and bloody, he swears that he's through. Finished. No more death and killing. It's back to Australia to cobble together some kind of normal life.

And for a year or so, that almost works.

A message that Hunter is being held by a Omani sheikh brings the "experiment" to a screeching halt. If Danny wants to see his friend alive again, he's going to have to fulfill the dying sheikh's demands: He must infiltrate the British Special Air Service, track down three soldiers, get them to admit their guilt in a murderous affair—and then make their deaths look like an accident.

It's no easy task. But for Hunter's sake, Danny will dust off all his old moves and go back to work. He'll gather his former teammates, take on some of the toughest soldiers in the world and man up for this one last job. Just … One … Last … Job.

But the team's movements are soon noticed. And a secret British shadow society wants them stopped. So an enforcer, a former SAS officer named Spike, is sent in.

He's determined to make sure this is Danny's last job.

Positive Elements

When Danny sees a victim's young child spattered with his father's blood at the conclusion of an assignment, it causes him to rethink all the killing he's been doing. And he soon realizes that it may well be possible to establish a loving relationship and a peaceful existence back in his old home town. In fact, he decides that that is the life he wants to now grasp hold of.

That's positive, for sure. But so is Danny's decision to remain loyal to his former partner and race to his rescue. (If some of his methods aren't.) Hunter, meanwhile, respects Danny's choice to leave the killing biz, and resists his friend's fresh involvement in the current troubles. Putting on his fatherly mantle, he urges Danny to stay away, saying, "Every day you were out of this game was a good day for me."

Later, when Danny's girlfriend, Anne, is threatened, both Danny and Hunter put their lives on the line to protect her.

Spiritual Content

The dying sheikh's son speaks of "Allah's will." And he later calls his desert home a "Godforsaken" place.

Sexual Content

An SAS soldier nuzzles his bikini-clad girlfriend near their backyard pool and then removes her top while she faces the camera. Later, Danny and his comrade hear the pair's loud lovemaking in the next room.

Davies, one of Danny's teammates, says he'll "get a hooker" in honor of a fallen fellow. And we see a partially clothed woman (one of her breasts is bare) kissing and straddling Davies while they have sex.

We see Anne in Danny's bed. We see her wrapped only in a sheet and wearing a formfitting tank top.

Violent Content

Killer Elite features a plethora of exploding vehicles, volleys of blazing automatic gunfire, and dozens of long-distance and point-blank shootings. But it takes its real pleasure from showcasing up-close-and-personal mano a mano brawls.

These high-intensity fights are generally captured with a frenetic, highly adrenalized handheld camera style that makes things so dizzying you sometimes can't tell who's stabbing whom or which backside just landed in what pile of broken glass. But it's pretty clear that all the pistol whippings, head-butts, crotch thumps, hand bites, gut punches and eye-socket rips are very, very painful. They're also generally bloody.

Beyond that, a character is struck by a speeding truck and dragged down the street. (We see the shredded remains.) A man is ejected through the windshield of his car when it hits a tanker truck, his face a bloody mess. We see several dead men lying in pools of their own blood. A thug threatens to cut a man's penis off and cram it down his throat.

Crude or Profane Language

Around 50 f-words and 20 s-words. There are several uses each of "h‑‑‑," a‑‑," "b‑‑ch" and "b‑‑tard." Jesus' name is misused a couple of times. Several vulgar terms for male body parts ("b-llocks," "pr‑‑k") are spit out.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Danny and his girlfriend share a bottle of wine on New Year's Eve. In a pub, guys drink mugs of ale. Most of the seasoned slayers toss back glasses of beer and wine on a number of occasions. We see cigarettes drooping from bottom lips.

Danny drugs a soldier with a mixture of a sedative and insulin so it will appear that he has died of hypothermia. The sick sheikh is hooked up to an IV drip.

Other Negative Elements

A guy tortures a bee with the lit end of his cigarette.

Conclusion

Jason Statham is a one-man movie-violence brand. His list of specially formulated super-high octane actioners now includes Snatch , The Transporter, The Italian Job, Collateral, Cellular, Transporter 2, Revolver, Chaos, Crank, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale—are you still reading or merely scanning?—War , The Bank Job, Death Race, Transporter 3, Crank: High Voltage, The Expendables and The Mechanic.

And I left a few films out of the list because I got tired of typing out titles.

So it'll come as absolutely, positively no surprise that his newest pic—based on a popular British novel called The Feather Men—wastes little time getting to the bullet-blazing, head-bashing, flesh-rending and testicle-thumping point.

Statham is cast here as a hit man with a crisis of conscience. He's not really stone-cold, but more of a pro who only gets pulled in again against his will—in order to selflessly rescue his endangered friend. But the truth is, a "reluctant" killer is still a killer. And there simply aren't any good guys to cheer here. Soldiers, assassins and sideline manipulators alike are pretty much all foul-mouthed, quick-tempered blood-spillers as adept at slicing a throat, smashing a face or gouging an eye as they are at breathing.

It's the same sort of repetitive-motion dexterity Jason Statham shows for his movie career.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

R

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Jason Statham as Danny; Clive Owen as Spike; Robert De Niro as Hunter; Yvonne Strahovski as Anne; Dominic Purcell as Davies

Director

Gary McKendry ( )

Distributor

Open Road Films

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

September 23, 2011

On Video

January 10, 2012

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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