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Killer Elite

September 23, 2011

Clive Owen has proven himself to be a likable action star even when playing the bad guy, as he’s done in movies such as The Bourne Identity and Inside Man. But what if he grew a creepy mustache and got punched in the face a bunch of times by Jason Statham? Would we finally learn to despise Owen as a true villain, like the people behind Killer Elite so desperately want us to view him as? The trailer for the film—which is not a remake of the 1975 Sam Peckinpah movie, despite the similar title—doesn't really mess around with too many plot specifics, though we know that Owen plays an assassin who kidnaps Robert De Niro, who served as the mentor to Statham’s former SAS agent. But it does get across how ineffective Owen's character is at his job, which is continually hampered by getting Statham’s fist to his face, sort of like a mix between Shoot 'Em Up and the Crank movies. 

This preview more or less gives away the impressive number of times that Statham beats Owen down, with Statham even winning a fight while tied to a chair and delivering a simple yet effective punch to the balls as the coup de grâce. De Niro shows up in what is his now-typical casual fashion (see Limitless or his Cecil B. DeMille speech at the Golden Globes), putting in minimum effort by standing by in a cell and cracking wise as Owen repeatedly gets what’s coming to him.