By Terri Lee Sylvester

NOVI (WWJ) – Killer Elite is a heart-pounding action flick that seems tailor-made for star Jason Statham. If you’re a Jason Statham fan like I am, after seeing this movie, you’ll know what I mean when I say there’s a whole lot to like about Killer Elite, Statham’s latest film project.

First of all, there’s Statham, who’s in true form in the role of Danny, who has moved on from life as an assassin. Then, there’s the story. Killer Elite is based on the 1991 controversial, best-selling novel “The Feather Men,” written by Ranulph Fiennes. The movie follows Statham as Danny, one of the world’s most-skilled special ops agents.

Danny is lured out of his self-imposed exile to take on a nearly-impossible mission: to rescue his former mentor and partner Hunter (Robert DeNiro). But in order to do this, he has to penetrate the highly-feared and respected military unit, the British Special Air Forces (SAS), to destroy a rogue cell of soldier assassins and their leader (Clive Owen).

In true Jason Statham/action hero fashion, Danny’s pursuit of his goal to rescue Hunter is far from easy. After he re-assembles his team of operatives, Danny sets his plan in action. In his relentless pursuit of Hunter’s freedom, Danny travels from Mexico to Australia, from Paris to London to Oman and Wales. While it’s nothing unusual to see Statham performing spectacular stunts and single-handedly wiping out dozens of opponents, perhaps one of the most amazing things about Killer Elite is that what’s unfolding onscreen is based on actual events.

With that in mind, Director Gary McKendry relied on a team of advisors to lend authenticity where it was needed. “We talked to a lot of SAS and Navy Seal guys,” McKendry said. “It was interesting because they were from very different worlds, very different approaches, but wound up in the same place. We got some really great advisors who were crucial to get it right. Hopefully we got it right.”

For McKendry and his team, getting it right also meant having Statham and Owen perform their own fight scenes, as opposed to using stunt men. Producer Steve Chasman: “Because Jason and Clive are both so physically gifted, we wanted to try to do things that would really surprise the audience. A lot of movies these days, if you watch them, the cameras are shaking and all you see is a punch with a fist or a knee or an elbow and invariably it’s always the stunt man and then they do a close up of the actor. In this film, for the majority of it, we see everyone in camera. Jason takes a lot of pride in that, and Clive does as well. Even Bob [De Niro] mixed it up, which is really exciting.”

Did they succeed in making Killer Elite as exciting – and real – as they hoped it would be? Yes, I would definitely say so.

Check out the official website and trailer here. Then, go watch Killer Elite at the theater and see for yourself.

Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee

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