Though it's seldom as conspicuous as, say, editing or lighting, scoring is a subtle integral component of any film's stylistic mix; take last week's excellent Drive, for example, which set itself apart from the typical action-movie morass at least in part with its use of quiet new-new-wave, as opposed to the dick-punching nu-metal typically employed by action-hero fare. But for every good time, there's a hangover, and this week's action platter offers up a heaping helping of pounding headache and mild nausea: Killer Elite, a movie whose trailer builds to a rousing chorus of Scorpion's "Rock You Like a Hurricane" without a hint of irony.
To be precise, that song is actually "Hurricane 2000," remixed in that eponymous year with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on the strings -- which somehow makes it better, really. But let's not split hairs here: The inclusion of Scorpion is far from the only thing that makes this trailer ridiculous.
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For one thing, it takes a lot of stones to put the phrase "Based on a True Story" right after a shot of Jason Stratham throwing himself out a window after kicking Clive Owen's ass and evading gunfire while tied to a chair. I mean, this might be a true story insofar as once upon a time two guys tried really hard to kill each other -- I'll even go so far as to allow that Robert De Niro may somehow have been involved -- and we all know you have to take that claim with a grain of salt. But come on, now.
Still, while there's no doubt that De Niro, Owens and Stratham are slumming it, at least they're slumming it well: You've got to partially hand it to a trailer that manages to average four gunshots, two stab wounds, five facial punches, ten explosions, two shots of a nice ass and one shot of Robert De Niro vaguely squinting and pulling down the corners of his mouth for every second of its run time. And Clive Owen looks absolutely astonishing in a mustache. So that's something.