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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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John of Capistrano: It has been said the Christian saints are the world’s greatest optimists. Not blind to the existence and consequences of evil, they base their confidence on the power of Christ’s redemption. The power of conversion through Christ extends not only to sinful people but also to calamitous events. 
<p>Imagine being born in the 14th century. One-third of the population and nearly 40 percent of the clergy were wiped out by the bubonic plague. The Western Schism split the Church with two or three claimants to the Holy See at one time. England and France were at war. The city-states of Italy were constantly in conflict. No wonder that gloom dominated the spirit of the culture and the times. </p><p>John Capistrano was born in 1386. His education was thorough. His talents and success were great. When he was 26 he was made governor of Perugia. Imprisoned after a battle against the Malatestas, he resolved to change his way of life completely. At the age of 30 he entered the Franciscan novitiate and was ordained a priest four years later. </p><p>His preaching attracted great throngs at a time of religious apathy and confusion. He and 12 Franciscan brethren were received in the countries of central Europe as angels of God. They were instrumental in reviving a dying faith and devotion. </p><p>The Franciscan Order itself was in turmoil over the interpretation and observance of the Rule of St. Francis. Through John’s tireless efforts and his expertise in law, the heretical Fraticelli were suppressed and the "Spirituals" were freed from interference in their stricter observance. </p><p>He helped bring about a reunion with the Greek and Armenian Churches, unfortunately only a brief arrangement. </p><p>When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, he was commissioned to preach a crusade for the defense of Europe. Gaining little response in Bavaria and Austria, he decided to concentrate his efforts in Hungary. He led the army to Belgrade. Under the great General John Hunyadi, they gained an overwhelming victory, and the siege of Belgrade was lifted. Worn out by his superhuman efforts, Capistrano was an easy prey to an infection after the battle. He died October 23, 1456.</p> American Catholic Blog When we are linked by the power of prayer, we as it were, hold each other’s hand as we walk side by side along a slippery path; and thus by the bounteous disposition of charity, it comes about that the harder each one leans on the other, the more firmly we are riveted together in brotherly love. —St. Gregory the Great

 
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