UK Release date: 23rd September 2011
Watched on Sky+ Monday 20th August 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I’m not quite sure how this one ended up on ‘The List’, I guess it must have had a couple of decent reviews, or more likely, I was lured by the prospect of Statham and De Niro on screen together. Either way it got tagged as a ‘possible’ and was duly flagged when it appeared in the TV listings last week. One of those ‘based on a true story’ films that are either excellent or very mediocre. This one falls somewhere in between and I’ll explain just why after this very brief summary.
When contract killer Danny’s mentor and friend Hunter is captured he finds himself forced to carry out a job for his captor, a sheik from Oman. The price; six million dollars and Hunter’s freedom. The job; kill three former SAS soldiers who, it’s claimed, murdered three of the sheik’s sons during a minor war in Oman. Danny puts together a team consisting of himself, Davies and Meier and they set about their task. Little do they know a group of former SAS soldiers have set up a secret protection force to look after their own. Their main enforcer, Spike, soon becomes aware of Danny’s activities and takes measures to stop him. Can Danny rescue his friend or will Spike get to him before his mission is complete? Well, I guess I had better not tell you here or Spike and his boys might be looking for me.
Well made with some great fight sequences and stunt work; I couldn’t see much (if any) CGI in there, so if there was any it was well disguised. Decent performances all round, particularly from Jason Statham as Danny and Clive Owen as Spike. I thought Robert De Niro, as Hunter, was woefully underused, but certainly had a presence when he did appear on screen. Honourable mentions also go to; Dominic Purcell as Davies, Aden Young as Meier and Yvonne Strahovski as Danny’s obligatory love interest, Anne.
In the end I felt it was a film that was trying to be too clever for its own good; what with bluffs and double bluffs going on left right and centre, you really didn’t know just who the ‘good guys’ were by the end of it all. Although based on fact I got the impression that an awful lot of ‘poetic license’ was used. A film with plenty of excitement and explosions but one that in the end failed to satisfy I’m afraid. Even the attempt at bringing in a love interest for Danny didn’t come over particularly well. Over all a film that promised much but ultimately failed to deliver. There were some nicely put together fight sequences, but even these seemed to over-stay their welcome at times. Sadly, not one I’ll be watching again anytime soon.
SteelMonster’s verdict: NOT RECOMMENDED.
My score: 5.4/10
IMDb Score: 6.5/10 (based on 51,028 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 44/100: (Based on 29 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 43/100 (based on 27,596 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Title Card: The world is in chaos. The economic crisis continues as an oil crises looms. War rages everywhere. It is a time of revolution, assassination and covert operations.
Title Card: It is 1980.
Danny: I'm done with killing.
Agent: Yeah well, maybe killing ain't done with you.
McCann: He's dead. He's dead as Elvis!
Jake: You got him, man!
McCann: Stop the car. We gotta make sure Elvis has left the building.
Hunter: He wanted me here to protect you. And you look like you needed protecting.
Anne: From what?