Text © Richard Gary / Indie Horror Films, 2017
Images from the Internet
EliteDirected by Mark Cantu
Live Wire Films / Lost Empire Films / MVD Visual
90 minutes, 2017
Most action films of this type follow an almost regimented formula (at least until the reveal), and this one is no exception. After a prolog about a mission gone bad where the good guys lose, we pick up the story two years later with a new Naval Covert Ops Command Special Agent and “registered Republican,” Abbey Vaughn (the square-jawed Allison Gregory, rocking a Frances McDormand-meets-Erin R. Ryan look), who is brings retired Bourne-level super-agent Sam Harrigan (Jason Scarborough) out of retirement. He’s grumpy, he’s drunk, he’s sequestered himself in some far off locale in rural Texas, and he has a beard. Of course, he doesn’t want to come back, but events get him to shave his head and he’s back on point to take down the drug lord and his minions. This is a trope that has been overused a bit much, but it gets you to the point of action. And, being an action film, that’s the point, right?
I was trying to figure out the political stance of the film. While it’s quite heteronormative, at the same time there are some swipes at conservative politicians, but also seems to fall in line with the present administration’s attitudes about “bad” people coming from Mexico and the belief that they bring crime with them (or the desire to do so). Perhaps it’s my own prejudice that sees that, being suspicious as this is from (and filmed in) San Antonio, Texas. I’m not sure, but I can easily see both sides of the liberal/conservative spectrum either questioning some parts of this, or agreeing with others.