KILLER ELITE Not pictured: Clive Owen's moustache. :(

KILLER ELITE claims to be "based on a true story." You've never seen the word "based" slapped around in such a brutal manner, but this is not to say that a weak grasp on reality is a bad thing. We're talking about a movie featuring Jason Statham, Clive Owen, and Clive Owen's moustache, after all. Statham plays... oh, hell, he basically plays a variation of his badass Statham self, this time as a retired assassin. Robert De Niro takes the damsel-in-distress role as Statham's mentor who is taken hostage by an eeeeeevil man who forces Statham back into the killing game.

For a while, the movie zings along on well-trod ground, as Statham assembles a team and starts hitting targets. What he doesn't know is that his targets are part of a secret society of ex-secret agents, which is where Owen comes in. Killer Elite is structured oddly, with an exhilarating series of action sequences followed by a talky, less-interesting bit—this would be the "true story" part—and generic action-movie relationship scenes. This is not the operatic Owen-vs.-Statham-vs.-Owen's-moustache action thriller you've been waiting for, unfortunately—reality gets in the way—but it passes the time in an agreeable enough way.

SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30