Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Machine Gun Preacher

Machine Gun Preacher

        The Machine Gun Preacher isn't a perfect movie.  Then again, neither is Sam Childers, the gun wielding former criminal turned Christian who fights for the children of war ravaged Sudan.  Gerard Butler takes on the role of Sam, depicting the fight of a man desperate to protect children from kidnappings, murder, and terror.  Sam struggles in his faith and in the desperate hopelessness that surrounds the war zone, only to be reminded of the call to continue through until the end.
      The movie is based on the real life story of Sam Childers, and is quite a remarkable and almost unbelievable tale.  Considering that a huge portion of the audience for a movie like The Machine Gun Preacher is presumably Christian, the movie could have toned down the language in the first 30 minutes of the film.  The film earns its R rating with violence as well, though I'd argue that the violence depicts truth and is necessary in telling the story honestly.  My other minor complaint is in the editing, which was sometimes choppy and fast paced.  Even so, the story of a broken man fighting to love and protect others is not lost in the movie.
         Sam makes huge mistakes sometimes and raises humanitarian and moral questions based on some of his more radical actions.  Still, I say it raises awareness, provokes thought, and calls the audience to action through its heartbreaking depictions of suffering and hope.  Just like flawed men, flawed movies can be used for great things.

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