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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Killer Elite

By
Kurt Jensen
Source: Catholic News Service


Jason Statham stars in a scene from the movie "Killer Elite."

NEW YORK (CNS) -- There's no greater disillusionment, according to "Killer Elite" (Open Road), than to think you're on the side of right in this world, only to find out you've been battling over cheap oil.

That clumsy moral alone might be enough to make this a thoughtful film, but instead it's a disjointed espionage thriller, directed by Gary McKendry and co-written by McKendry and Matt Sherring, about rival assassination teams embroiled in thoughtless deaths, hackneyed dialogue and a mind-numbing assortment of car chases.

Set in the early 1980s, which means no Internet, no cellphones and a dying Arab sheik protecting oil and power instead of Islamic terrorists out to destroy the West, "Killer Elite" is based on Ranulph Fiennes' novel "The Feather Men," which, to make things more murky, is billed as "based on a true story."

Jason Statham plays Danny, a retired member of Britain's elite Special Air Service, who decided to quit and retire to an idyllic Australian ranch after a targeted killing in Mexico went wrong and was witnessed by the child of one of the targets. He gets pulled back in when an oil-rich Omani sheik, seeking to avenge the deaths of three of his sons, kidnaps Danny's former partner Hunter (Robert De Niro) and keeps him hostage until Danny assembles another team, commits three killings and delivers video proof.

Easy enough, but now an SAS team headed by Spike (Clive Owen) is on Danny's tail, and being manipulated by a shadowy group of retired British spies who call themselves "The Feather Men" because of their famously light touch in international intrigue.

Spike is supposed to dispatch Danny, but will he? And who's really on the side of the angels here? The audience is left to its own judgment as to whether to draw a parallel to recent world events.

The film contains pervasive gun and physical violence, pervasive rough and crude language and fleeting profanity. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III—adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

*****
Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.





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Martyrdom of John the Baptist: The drunken oath of a king with a shallow sense of honor, a seductive dance and the hateful heart of a queen combined to bring about the martyrdom of John the Baptist. The greatest of prophets suffered the fate of so many Old Testament prophets before him: rejection and martyrdom. The “voice crying in the desert” did not hesitate to accuse the guilty, did not hesitate to speak the truth. But why? What possesses a man that he would give up his very life? 
<p>This great religious reformer was sent by God to prepare the people for the Messiah. His vocation was one of selfless giving. The only power that he claimed was the Spirit of Yahweh. “I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). Scripture tells us that many people followed John looking to him for hope, perhaps in anticipation of some great messianic power. John never allowed himself the false honor of receiving these people for his own glory. He knew his calling was one of preparation. When the time came, he led his disciples to Jesus: “The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God.’ The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus” (John 1:35-37). It is John the Baptist who has pointed the way to Christ. John’s life and death were a giving over of self for God and other people. His simple style of life was one of complete detachment from earthly possessions. His heart was centered on God and the call that he heard from the Spirit of God speaking to his heart. Confident of God’s grace, he had the courage to speak words of condemnation or repentance, of salvation.</p> American Catholic Blog Just as my children become members of my family when I bring them into the world, so too our baptism incorporates us into the family of the Church. This supernatural membership prevents us from being orphans who have to fend for themselves in the spiritual wilderness.

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