Gary McKendry

Killer Elite begins by stressing that what on the surface appeared to be little more than a run-of-the-mill Jason Statham-Clive Owen action flick is in fact a serious evocation of the chaotic geopolitical scene circa 1980, and based on a true story. Naively, I felt a twinge of eager anticipation. Could this actually be a serious globe-trotting thriller, a chance for Statham to showcase some dramatic range? Not so much.

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It’s true that Robert De Niro, Jason Statham and Clive Owen make a type of dream team when it comes to action movies, especially ones that involve kidnapped mentors and the promise/threat of revenge. At the very least, it’s a ridiculous line-up for a first time feature director. To that point, here’s co-writer/director Gary McKendry explaining very briefly what it was like getting the gig and hearing who he’d be working with:

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With the Toronto International Film Festival mere weeks away, cinephiles everywhere are prepping to ship off to America’s hat for ten days of films and fun, all fueled by bagged milk and and trademark Canadian politeness. TIFF has already established itself as North America’s premiere film festival (duking it out with Sundance for top billing), but this year, the festival’s programmers have truly outdone themselves when it comes to putting together a drool-worthy schedule. This year’s TIFF has already announced the bulk of their lineup, including The Ides of March and Moneyball and their documentary and genre picks, but they now round out their programming with some final and spectacular picks.

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Here’s a pretty bad-ass pairing of badasses: Clive Owen and Jason Statham. The former has signed on — according to Variety — to the upcoming actioner The Killer Elite.

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