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Someone should have caught that.

25 June 2012

Killer Elite — staring Jason Statham’s Members Only jacket and Robert DeNiro’s hobo beard.

This weekend, at some point in the very early morning after I’d finished writing for the day, I happened to catch the 2011 film Killer Elite. I mean, it was Jason Statham, Clive Owen, and Robert DeNiro — what could go wrong, right?

During the first scene of the movie, after the opening title crawl told us the year was 1980, Jason Statham and his buddy Robert DeNiro get into a firefight with some random bad guys. Cool. This is what I was expecting. Jason Statham needs some bailing out, and so Robert DeNero pulls out a gun that won’t be invented or produced for another 14 years and starts shooting at the bad guys.

Look, movies make mistakes. It’s fine. But don’t go out of your way to set up that it’s 1980 and then ruin it with one detail. Details matter. In movies, this is much more forgivable to me — there are so many different people who work on the look of a film that something’s bound to be overlooked. I will say that the sudden appearance of something so far out of time did take me out of the movie for a few minutes, though.

It’s a worse problem in a novel than it is in a film, to me. I never really got that until I saw it happen — a piece of information that was just so incorrect, it jarred me right out of the story. That’s not what you want in a novel. I’ve been guilty of it myself, of course.

Pay attention to the details. They do matter, and even if you don’t think it’s a big deal, someone else will.

Also, Killer Elite? Not an awful movie, after all. Clive Owen is pretty great in it.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 25 June 2012 1344

    Thing is 99% of people out there wouldn’t know the gun didn’t exist in the 80s (Myself included).

    • 25 June 2012 1419

      Totally. And in a movie, it’s forgivable. I know I’m one of the 1% on that particular issue.

      But attention to detail does matter — especially in books — and there’s always going to be that 1%. I got a comment in a review of the first 47 Echo book to that extent — my own screw-up — and now I get where the reviewer was coming from. The audience might not know, but the author really should.

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