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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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Angela Merici: Angela has the double distinction of founding the first teaching congregation of women in the Church and what is now called a “secular institute” of religious women. 
<p>As a young woman she became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis (now known as the Secular Franciscan Order), and lived a life of great austerity, wishing, like St. Francis, to own nothing, not even a bed. Early in life she was appalled at the ignorance among poorer children, whose parents could not or would not teach them the elements of religion. Angela’s charming manner and good looks complemented her natural qualities of leadership. Others joined her in giving regular instruction to the little girls of their neighborhood. </p><p>She was invited to live with a family in Brescia (where, she had been told in a vision, she would one day found a religious community). Her work continued and became well known. She became the center of a group of people with similar ideals. </p><p>She eagerly took the opportunity for a trip to the Holy Land. When they had gotten as far as Crete, she was struck with blindness. Her friends wanted to return home, but she insisted on going through with the pilgrimage, and visited the sacred shrines with as much devotion and enthusiasm as if she had her sight. On the way back, while praying before a crucifix, her sight was restored at the same place where it had been lost. </p><p>At 57, she organized a group of 12 girls to help her in catechetical work. Four years later the group had increased to 28. She formed them into the Company of St. Ursula (patroness of medieval universities and venerated as a leader of women) for the purpose of re-Christianizing family life through solid Christian education of future wives and mothers. The members continued to live at home, had no special habit and took no formal vows, though the early Rule prescribed the practice of virginity, poverty and obedience. The idea of a teaching congregation of women was new and took time to develop. The community thus existed as a “secular institute” until some years after Angela’s death.</p> American Catholic Blog I hear far more people discuss the presence of evil in their lives than they do the supreme power of grace. God is bigger than evil!

 
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