The Killer Elite is somewhat a warm actionfilm that doesnt take itself too serious...and thats a good thing. Peckinpah toys with the intelligence crime genre and adds a good dose of humor, humanity and 70s groove in the middle of all the gunsmoke and ninja tricks. Caan versus Duvall is an unexpected match where you never quite know whos standing in the end...a classic Peckinpah touch I might add. 3.5 ninja stars!
The whole thing should be striped down to about 20 minutes of James Caan's silent recovery hiding a Hemingway sort of honor underneath. Everything else is an utter useless piece of piss poor writing with nothing to interest anyone. And to think that car talk at the begging made me remember Vincent and Marsellus mayonnaise discussion...
São Francisco parece ser mesmo a cidade certa para disparar uns tiros e rebentar com carros, que o digam Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, e aqui, James Caan. Antes do esteróides anabolizantes da era Reagan, dos importados de Hong Kong, e das lutas com acrobacias aéreas e câmaras de alta velocidade, Sam Peckinpah escrevia o cinema macho com uma bala na culatra e o pé no acelerador.
**1/2 Not bad but not great either. This adaptation of Robert Rostand's "Monkey in the Middle" allows Sam Peckinpah to handle two personal themes: manipulation of men and, above all, betrayed friendship, a theme the director already visited in RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, his second film. Burt Young, as always, is excellent. A DVD zone Peckinpah completists only.
The funny thing about late Peckinpah is that though the movies are mostly dated and out of touch they all smack of the master's hand. The Killer Elite is a great example of Peckinpah's best instincts fighting with his (and the studio's) worst. There are moments here that shine (James Caan's rehabilitation montage has a quiet dignity and warmth to it) even if the film drags and wants for action. Muddled but touching.