Posts Tagged ‘Robert DeNiro’

KILLER ELITE review by John Delia

September 22nd, 2011 No comments









Cast: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro, Yvonne Strahovski and Dominic Purcell

Directed by: Gary McKendry

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, language and some sexuality/nudity

Genre: Action, Thriller

Running Time: 1hr 45min

Opening Date: September 23, 2011

Distributed by: Open Road Films



By John Delia


The film Killer Elite plays out like you are watching a video game, kill an assassin and move up to the next level.  Exciting, power packed and relatively predictable, the film tends to mirror other action movies that have been released this year. The thing that does play better than the rest involves the suspense that comes with trying to decide who really is the bad guy here?


Danny (Jason Statham) flees from an assassin

The script goes something like this; best friends and fellow assassins Danny (Jason Statham) and Hunter (Robert DeNiro) are finishing up a job in Mexico when Danny gets shot in the leg when he hesitates during his kill shot.  Torn by a near death moment, Danny decides to quit the business and retires to a secluded retreat. 


At least a year goes by with no contact from Hunter until he gets notified from his former mission advisor that Hunter’s been captured and being held by a subversive government. Danny hesitates at first then takes on the challenge of rescuing Hunter.  When the top assassins in the world get mobilized to stop the rescue and Spike (Clive Owen) a highly trained policeman thinks Danny’s a spy, Danny has to face impossible odds.


Hunter (DeNiro) and Danny (Statham) in KILLER ELITE

The film rolls out like an X-Box game with the hero getting several weapons to choose from, endless ammunition and several help stations along his journey to kill assassins and free the girl, except in Killer Elite it’s a DeNiro.  Actually I enjoy a good game and that’s a good thing here. Statham makes a great gamer role model with a lot of muscle and agility to face off against his foes.  Hey if someone’s developing a video game out there called ‘Killer Elite’, just remember you heard it here first.


Statham works well with Robert DeNiro, especially in the opening sequence where the two have to face off against Mexican government police.  DeNiro looks like his younger self and exhibits the kind of intensity that made him famous.  Good make-up and special CGI may have helped, but who’s caring when the extreme fighting looks real.


Spike (Clive Owen) points his gun at Danny

I am very happy to see Clive Owen in this action packed thriller and it’s he who makes Killer Elite suspenseful.  Thinking he’s got an easy job in tracking down a bungling assassin, especially since his men under him are highly trained, get him into a tight situation when he has to decide who’s the bad guy.


The direction by first timer Gary McKendry looks high quality.  He starts his film with a great firefight and doesn’t hold back right up to the blazing ending. He moves the story along at a fast clip and inserts his adversaries in piece meal so as to string out a lot of guts and gore. 


Killer Elite is rated R for strong violence, language and some sexuality/nudity.  McKendry inserts a lot of realistic killing for shock value so use extra caution when deciding to bring immature children. Although the film has a similar name as the 1975 spy thriller, the story is very different and so are the thrills.



FINAL ANALYSIS:  A strong action thriller to end the summer. (B)





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LIMITLESS review by John Delia

March 17th, 2011 No comments




Cast: Bradley Cooper. Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish, and Andrew Howard

Directed by: Neil Burger

MPAA Rating: PG 13 for for thematic material involving a drug, violence including disturbing images, sexuality and language

Genre: : Drama, Thriller and Adaptation

Running Time: 1hr 45min

Release Date: March 18th, 2011

Distributed by: Relativity Media

By John Delia

The premise of Limitless involves the use of a mythical drug that magically makes a person a total Einstein, the pure fantasy and consequences of the outcome makes it intriguing.  The cast perfectly drawn and the direction top notch, Limitless thrills and chills.

De Niro as Van Loon and Cooper as Eddie

Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) has drawn a blank causing a case of writers block.  The company who has given him a monetary advance to write his book is asking for results.  Totally depressed and thinking of ending his career he by chance runs into Vernon (Johnny Whitworth) an old buddy who introduces him to a pill called NZT.  It allows one to use his entire brain including the incidental memory that has picked up information not purposely stored.  With this newfound drug, Eddie is on top of the world and writes his book in four days.  When finds Vernon dead, Eddie realizes the reason and searches his apartment coming up with a bag of the brain stretchers.  When word gets around that Eddie has NZT his world turns upside down.

The fantasy here shows the premise that if it were true that one could take a pill and use his or her whole brain to it’s fullest potential then an Eddie would probably outshine most everyone with the use of his stored knowledge.  It would be like the memory enhancing supplement Focus Factor on steroids.

Director Neil Burger on the set with Bradley Cooper

The film under the direction by Neil Burger (The Illusionist) gets nicely played out.  He keeps his audience guessing and on the edge as Eddie copes with his situation and the dangerous new ones being created. Cooper makes his character real going from indigent writer to top of the world consultant.  His interaction with superstar Robert DeNiro as investor Carl Van Loon works well. As the two plays off each other they turn a dull possibility into an intriguing interaction showing Eddie’s brilliance.

Limitless is rated PG 13 for thematic material involving a drug, violence including disturbing images, sexuality and language.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A bright chilling fantasy that entertains. (B-)