Killer Elite (15)

Starring: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro
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The Independent Culture

The title is nicked from Sam Peckinpah's 1975 thriller – everything else is nicked from a dozen other action movies, most of them starring Jason Statham as the bullet-headed tough guy.

Here he plays a hired killer who's out to ransom back his old comrade (Robert De Niro) from a prison in Oman: the price, from a dying sheikh, is to assassinate the SAS operatives who murdered his three sons. The plot involves gunplay and grievous bodily harm around the globe, plus tin-eared backroom talk between assassin Clive Owen and his old SAS bosses. It's set in 1980 and apparently based on a book by Ranulph Fiennes about covert ops. Don't be taken in by this based-on-a-true-story imprimatur: it is as phony, derivative and poorly scripted as any thriller this year.

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