I have been trying to find 'The Killer Elite' for quite some time. Directed by the legendary Sam Peckinpah in between two of his best and most underrated movies ('Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia' and 'Cross Of Iron'), and re-teaming James Caan and Robert Duvall, co-stars of 'The Godfather', I was sure that this was going to be one of those great lost 70s gems like 'Rolling Thunder' or 'The Yakuza'. Sadly, it isn't. Now I know Peckinpah often suffered studio interference and rarely got to get a movie on screen with his vision uncompromised, so I can only assume this is the case here. Caan, who is always watchable no matter what he is in, plays a CIA operative who is betrayed by his partner, Duvall (who only has a small supporting role to be honest). Wounded and written off by his bosses, he is manipulated into guarding an Asian politician (Mako, best known for the 'Conan' films) who Duvall is trying to assassinate. Caan and his hand-picked team (Peckinpah regular Bo Hopkins, and Burt Young of 'Rocky' fame) carry out there task in good faith until it becomes increasingly obvious that they are being used. Peckinpah deals with his frequent themes of loyalty and honour, and there is some characteristic bloody action sequences, but frankly the script leaves a lot to be desired, the plot sometimes wanders off track, and some golden opportunities are missed. 'The Killer Elite' reeks of compromise and therefore fails to completely satisfy. But hey, even neutered Peckinpah is still Peckinpah, and just about everything he directed wipes the floor with most of Hollywood's current lame output, so I still say give this one a try. For all its flaws it still stars James Caan, one of the most underrated actors of his generation, and even that in itself is enough to keep me watching.