Machine Gun Preacher: Movie Review

[Rating: 2.5]

Director: Marc Forster
 
Cast: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan, Kathy Baker, Michael Shannon
 
Synopsis: Machine Gun Preacher is the inspirational true story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing criminal who undergoes an astonishing transformation and finds an unexpected calling as the savior of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children.
 
Review: So, a machine gun yielding junkie one day commits a crime for which he could not forgive himself. Looking for answers he finds the house of God and his spiritual calling takes him to Sudan, Africa. A warzone where children are being mindlessly abducted, raped, tortured, and burnt alive. He tags along with the resistance army to save these children and builds them an orphanage. Continues to do his good work while dabbling with family issues back home in the USA. 
 
Performance wise, Butler makes us feel both Childers pain and desire to help equally well. But his performance is blindsided by a groundless script. One day he’s a drug addict and criminal the next day he’s preaching God’s love to an unsuspecting audience. There is very little justification provided for why Sam Childers became a preacher. But there is enough about why he picked up the machine gun. However, all credit to Butler for trying to do what an unjustified script couldn’t. 
Based on the true life story of Sam Childers, “Machine Gun Preacher” is about fighting for a cause. But the method here is questionable. Is any cause worth picking up the gun? As the real Sam Childers puts it, ‘If your own children were abducted by some really bad people, and I told you I could get them back home. Would it matter how I got them home?’ But does violence justify more violence? I don’t know. You watch the movie and you decide. 
 
Verdict: Despite being ‘less preaching and more machine gun’, this one is worth the watch for Gerard Butler’s dynamic performance as Sam Childers. 
 
Malvika Rao

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