Well everyone, my Simon’s Cat review plan has come to naught. I do honestly intend to do a Minecraft review, despite the fact i still don’t own the game, but until then, away from Youtube and Books i want to review what i want. Also, i’m sorry for not reviewing yesterday at the usual time-ish. This is because, well honestly, because i couldn’t be bothered. Anyway, i’m going to review Machine Gun preacher today because my dad bought it recently and I’ve now watched it twice, both on my own and with my sister (whom i shall rant about later) and i was opinionated enough to decided to commit it to review. Enjoy the read.
Machine Gun Preacher is the true story about Sam Childers, played by Gerard Butler and directed by Marc Forster. The life of Sam Childers in this movie is depicted from when he leaves jail as a rebellious drug addict with a liking for guns and violence. He is changed by his wife who use to be a stripper but has now found God. He becomes a builder and gets lots of work after a tornado hit where he lived in his caravan type home, giving him enough money to afford a comfortable living in a big new house. A few years later he decides to go to Uganda with the Christian movement to help out with building and allows himself to discover the horrors of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA). This Trauma leads to an experience with God in which God tells him to build a Church for Sinners where they can hear the word of God, and these people from the church can also donate to help him build a orphanage in Uganda near Sudan to save orphaned children from the LRA. From this point on the movie shows the struggles and hardships Sam had to face to keep the orphanage alive and the adversity the family faced as a result of Sam’s work.
This is a very emotionally moving true story and the fact Sam is still out there today at his orphanage doing all this good work, i find inspiring. As a story, it’s got everything going for it. Even by British standers, this American movie stands up. Only by doing so, it really reveals the problems with it being an American movie.
Now, i know America is patriot mad, but that’s the point; so is this movie. In one scene, when he kills some militia on a bridge that are about to attack a relief convoy, he dressed up like a desert Rambo with the shades and the cloth like a sweat band across his head. The denim jacket is the icing on the cake and i really don’t like it. He takes up this sort of American ranger look in a few fights and i really don’t think he looked anything like that in real life. His pictures at the end showed him to look like a classic Pennsylvania hillbilly; a little fat, good facial hair and not really hench in any way . Another big costume disaster was the freedom fighter Deng, played by Souléymane Sy Savané, who in a picture at the end is shown climbing over rocks in a white robe with a small hand gun and in the movie he has full desert camo and an assault rifle! WTF is that?
Another problem with this movie is America’s fascination with Christianity. I know it was faith that turned Sam’s life around, but they really push the importance of religion and for people to have faith throughout the movie. When he’s first in Church at the start-ish of the movie, they have a little girl singing amazing grace, for no reason i can work out other than shes a cute girl singing a Christian song very emotionally. Awww. ITS POINTLESS! Also, every time Sam returnes to America, except for the first when the church wasn’t built, he is shown preaching to his sinners to donate to his cause and let God in. This does have the advantage of showing his decay into anger at Americas lack of help, but i still think it’s a little overdone.
Now the biggest problem. It’s not the acting, the acting was great, especially on Gerard Butler’s part. It’s actually the directing i have a problem with. Its just too Hollywood! For one thing, the guns are too lit up in the gun fights, so obviously using Hollywood rounds, which is a special type of bullet that lights up the barrel like a Christmas tree. The fires spread to quickly and burn to cleanly to be real wood hut fires. So alot of the bugget has gone on this really unrealistic stuff and the RPG’s, where they actually could have got away with maximizing the effects, they just used them to flip cars with. You can very obviously see how the cars were flipped but the gun fights themselves are very realistic in both time and proportion to danger in that they take cover from bullets and accuracy is accurately limited.
The whole thing is a true story, so i don’t doubt any of the believable bits, and by that i mean the bits where i can belive they have portrayed accurately as Sam Childers would have told them; but i honestly think that every chance that Hollywood had to make this movie more, well ‘American’, they have done. Don’t believe me, look at this
Whats in the background. Explosions. Are there any Explosions? Answer: no, there is one mine that explodes but no actual full on bomb detonations or anything like that. Also, the more eagle eyed among you will have noticed a helicopter. That is an attack helicopter. There is no attack helicopter at any point in this movie at all. Ever! so why is that helicopter there? Hollywood! Mother F*cking HOLLYWOOD! They always manage to ruin movies. Marc Forster, what were you thinking?
I think that once again, America and Hollywood have managed to ruin a movie. Especially with the flipping between two scenes when anything dramatic is happening. If it’s a dramatic moment, leave it alone and let it be a dramatic moment. Don’t keep trying to build it up with anything because your just ruining it! When will Hollywood ever get that a good lengthy silence is the best tool at crating those really thought provoking moments that really stick with you, even after the movie. This scene flipping was my pet peeve throughout the entire movie, i hate it and i never want to see it be used again anywhere ever again!
So, i now must rate this movie. I can’t score the story what i want to because the story is great but the movie drags it down so much, like a gold medalist swimmer attached to a couple of sacks of potatoes. Therefor, i take no pleasure in awarding this movie a 6/10, which on my scale is above average. Its too bad only the true story is pushing it’s rating this high. Well done Hollywood. Well F*cking done!
That Other Guy