Machine Gun Preacher (2011) Review

The story of Sam Childers who was a drug addict biker who found god and became a crusader for hundreds of children in Sudan.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this film as I did not know the background story. Therefore when it started I was very confused about the direction the film was going. We see Sam being released from prison and picked up by his wife. Then drinking and taking drugs with his best friend.

But one night when Sam thinks he has killed a man, he decides to change his life around and attends church with his wife, daughter and mother. This is therefore the rebirth of Sam, he completely changes everything around. Getting himself work and then managing to start-up his own business. His new-found faith doesn’t just stop at going to church, he decides to build his own church. In order to help people like himself, who are addicted to drugs giving them an option and lifeline.

But still this part of the film seems like a totally different film to the next part, when Sam visits Africa to help out the people by building houses and different places. When he gets an insight into how bad it is for the children. Who’s parents are killed in front of them, then they are forced to join the gangs. Sam wants to help them and put a stop to it all.

I found this film to be an extremely emotional journey from start to finish with so many scenes that could easily bring a tear to your eye. I thought Gerard Butler was fantastic in the role and very believable. It is clear that faith is a very strong thing for someone to have, but we also get to see how easily it can be questioned when bad things are happening.

Sam pushes his wife and daughter away and almost loses them due to his wanting to help the children of Sudan. He really does find himself consumed with it all. Finding the balance does not work out too well for him at times. Just when it looks like he has lost his mind and flipped out, when hunting down the gangs and killing them a conversation with a young boy saves and reminds him of the plan.

I really did like this film, for the way it put the messages out there. Although I would place it as one of those films that you do not have to watch more than once for the message to stick and to always remember parts of it. It is not one of those films that you have to watch over and over. But some fantastic performances from Butler and Michael Shannon as well.

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