Film review: Machine Gun Preacher
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3/5The story of Sam Childers really needed to be made into a film, it reads like the plot to some fantastical Hollywood blockbuster. The subject matter itself is so inspiring and intense that this fact alone meant that Machine Gun Preacher could hardly fail to be worth a watch. But it is the sheer intensity of this real-life story that let’s this cinematic re-telling down. The Hollywood treatment doesn’t even begin to do the life of Sam Childers justice. Once a drug-addicted, biker criminal, Childers found God and ended up in Uganda doing building work. It is during this he made a trip into Sudan and came face to face with the horrors that the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) were (and still are) orchestrating in the region. One of these is the kidnap of young child than they force to be child soldiers. Childers builds a orphanage to house children orphaned by the fighting. Deciding this is not enough he begins armed raids to rescue kidnapped children from the hands of the LRA. To date he has saved the lives of thousands of children. But just over two hours is not enough to effectively tell this story, it deserving its own television mini-series. Too much is made of Childers own emotional turmoil (so lots of lead Gerard Butler looking forlorn and distraught) and his faith, whilst ignoring any examination of the region and the situation there.
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