“El Chicano” (Briarcliff)

By Catholic News Service

A masked vigilante prowls the dark, mean streets of the inner city, fighting crime and defending the defenseless in this first superhero film with an all-Hispanic cast, directed and co-written by Ben Hernandez Bray.

A police detective (Raul Castillo), investigating a massacre carried out by the head (Sal Lopez) of a vicious drug cartel discovers that his late brother had a secret identity as the eponymous avenger determined to clean up the barrio. Before long he takes up the mantle himself, despite the suspicions of his police captain (George Lopez).

With extreme violence, an expressed endorsement of vigilantism and a confusing presentation of Catholic rituals, suggestive of their misuse in connection with voodoo, and Santeria, this is not a typical popcorn superhero movie and should be approached with caution even by grown-ups.

Graphic bloody violence, skewed religious imagery, frequent profane and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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