Machine Gun Preacher

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 2:09 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Machine Gun Preacher
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainmnet
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Kiddie Movie: Lots of brutal violence – send them to bed!
Date Movie: She might get frightened and hold you.
Gratuitous Sex: There’s some getting it on but this one is R for the violence.
Gratuitous Violence: Did I mention the brutal violence yet?
Action: Not really any action in this one, just gunfights.
Laughs: Nope.
Memorable Scene: When the little boy shows Sam he might be going down the wrong life road at his orphanage.
Memorable Quote: Lynn to Sam: “Now get off your butt, stop your crying, and build it again.”
Directed By: Marc Forster
Cool things about the Blu-ray: Nothing, really. There is a weirdly added “Making the Music” feature, and a short segement with MarcForster explaining how he made the movie.

When “Machine Gun Preacher” was hitting theaters I heard a couple of interviews, heard the synopsis, and heard a couple of people on the radio that liked the movie, especially Gerard Butler’s portrayal of Sam Childers, and sort of wanted to see the movie for myself even if most of the normal reviewers weren’t so kind. It came and went out of the theater, and I missed the chance on the big screen so when the Blu-ray showed up for me to review, I was excited to see it – My wife, not so much. Violent movies aren’t really her cup of tea, so I watched “Machine Gun Preacher” on my own, and most critics be damned, me, I really liked it.

Let’s get to the story…

The movie is based on the life of Sam Childers, a man whose life was heading down the wrong path, filled with drugs, alcohol, and biker gangs, and a wife, Lynn (Michelle Monaghan in the movie), who started as a stripper but then found God. Sam’s (in the movie played by Gerard Butler) life is about to explode in total badness until he, too, finds God while attending church with his wife. He also hears the story of life in the Africa, how they need help with even the most basic of necessities, and finds himself first in Uganda with the missionaries, building homes for the refugees, but Sudan is calling him, and against the advice of many he travels to the land run by Joseph Kony and the LRA, finding a world of unspeakable horror, and feels he is called to build an orphanage in direct competition with the atrocities of Kony and his men, and with the help of his wife, founding and running the Angels of East Africa organization.

There isn’t a lot very pretty about this movie, only that no matter where they are, no matter the atrocities around them, sometimes the joy of children can bring light to the darkest days. It gives a brutal look, and I mean brutal, at the atrocities occurring in the Sudan, as well as intertwines a movie about a man, Sam, who is torn between his life in the safety of the United States with his wife and daughter or trying to help the innocents of a nation, and as we see the movie progress, he doesn’t do that well on the home front for awhile, but thankfully Lynn is a strong woman and Sam figures it out.

We hear the horror stories of things going on in the Sudan, but you won’t see most of it on TV, although you might see a viral video about it, and sure, “Machine Gun Preacher” is a movie adaptation of Sam Childers’ life and the brutalities happening in the Sudan, and maybe I’m totally wrong, but most of it seems scarily true to form, from villages being burned to the ground (including the people inside), and the journey of one man on his own quest for redemption.

I found Gerard Butler awesome in his role, delicately working the transformation from biker gang dude to, well, still a dude with a mean streak but now using it for good. A nurse warns him that Joseph Kony started recruiting his followers in much the same way Sam was starting to do, but thankfully the children help keep Sam on the path of being a better man.

I really liked the movie, so much so I give it 4 stars out of 5. There is a lot of brutal violence, but then again, a movie telling of the atrocities in the Sudan couldn’t really portray the story without it.

Blu-ray and DVD-wise there is an extra about “Making the Music” for “Machine Gun Preacher”, which I found an odd addition, especially since I’m thinking there aren’t too many people getting this movie for the music, and even on the Blu-ray there isn’t much else, just an added extra with Marc Forster, the Producer/Director of the movie, who pretty much tells you everything you would think of about the making of the movie.  Get this Blu-ray for how awesome it looks, even the violence, on your big screen, and to appreciate the acting of Gerard Butler a little more.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!