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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Predators

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

Toward the end of "Predators" (Fox), a character camouflages himself by covering his torso with mud. That's an apt symbol for this dreary sci-fi sequel which, despite a halfhearted last-reel lesson about the need to maintain civilized values, is mostly a bespattered survey of nasty ways to die.

As for Alex Litvak's script, it's chockablock with obscenities throughout, and even the second-to-last word of dialogue is an unprintable one.

Director Nimrod Antal's addition to the thriller franchise that began with 1987's "Predator" pits a random collection of human warriors and criminals against the invisibility-cloaked aliens of the title, who are out to hunt hominids for sport. The extraterrestrials' chosen hunting ground is a steamy jungle into which each of the earthlings has been unwillingly, and mysteriously, parachuted.

Along with their eventual leader, experienced mercenary Royce (Adrien Brody), this unsavory gang includes—but is not limited to—Israeli Defense Forces sniper Isabelle (Alice Braga), serial killer Stans (Walton Goggins), drug-gang enforcer Cuchillo (Danny Trejo) and Russian Special Forces operative Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov). (Given the premise, you can tell Nikolai has been up to no good in Chechnya even before he mentions it.)

A seemingly incongruous addition to their company is respectable and mild-mannered physician Edwin (Topher Grace).

As this motley crew dodges deadly booby traps, alien warthogs and the daggerlike appendages their pursuers are capable of sprouting at all the wrong moments, they cross paths with Noland (Laurence Fishburne), a slightly addled veteran of the aliens' cat-and-mouse ordeal.

But this encounter turns out to be just a detour in their bloody quest for survival, which sees the group gradually whittled down by impalings, eviscerations and other unpleasant spectacles.

The film contains frequent graphic violence, some of it gruesome, a few uses of profanity and pervasive rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

*****
John Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.



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Leopold Mandic: Western Christians who are working for greater dialogue with Orthodox Christians may be reaping the fruits of Father Leopold’s prayers.
<p>A native of Croatia, Leopold joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained several years later in spite of several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight and a stomach ailment.
</p><p>Leopold taught patrology, the study of the Church Fathers, to the clerics of his province for several years, but he is best known for his work in the confessional, where he sometimes spent 13-15 hours a day. Several bishops sought out his spiritual advice.
</p><p>Leopold’s dream was to go to the Orthodox Christians and work for the reunion of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. His health never permitted it. Leopold often renewed his vow to go to the Eastern Christians; the cause of unity was constantly in his prayers.
</p><p>At a time when Pope Pius XII said that the greatest sin of our time is "to have lost all sense of sin," Leopold had a profound sense of sin and an even firmer sense of God’s grace awaiting human cooperation.
</p><p>Leopold, who lived most of his life in Padua, died on July 30, 1942, and was canonized in 1982.</p> American Catholic Blog Heavenly Father, give me the grace to be grateful and to use my gifts and talents to show your love to others so that when they see me, they recognize you living in me and loving them through me. I ask this in Jesus's name, Amen.

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