2011 Running time: 129 Certificate: 15 Rating: 3
Machine Gun Preacher KA

Synopsis

Gerard Butler plays Sam Childers, a drug-sozzled biker-turned-defender of Sudanese orphans in director Marc Forster's workmanlike action thriller. Loosely based on a true story, it chronicles Childers' conversion to the Good Book... and his controversial arrival in Africa as a gun-toting, bible-bashing ally of the Sudan People's Liberation Army. Preferring an eye for and eye than the other cheek turned, he joins them in their battle against the atrocities of the supposedly Christian Lord's Resistance Army and its brutal recruitment of child soldiers.

Director

  • Marc Forster

Cast

  • Gerard Butler

  • Michelle Monaghan

  • Michael Shannon

  • Madeline Carroll

Review

Not content with fire and brimstone, this no-nonsense mix of Rambo and the Archbishop of Canterbury also favours the Kalashnikov AK-47 among the weaponry in the Lord's arsenal.

He's Sam Childers (Butler), a onetime jailbird, drug addict and minor criminal whose conversion to Christianity (at the behest of his ex-stripper wife [Monaghan]) has resulted in him renouncing his sin-laden old ways.

Inspired by a visit to his church from an American missionary in Africa, Childers takes his practical skills as a builder to a small village on the Ugandan/Sudan border.

It is there that he learns about the barbaric Lord's Resistance Army, a terrorist renegade militia that specialises in coercing press-ganged youngsters into murdering their parents. His path is set when he witnesses a young boy blown apart by a landmine as he runs through a field.

What was once a charitable Christian mission now turns into a crusade with Childers putting his evangelical fervour into building an orphanage and his practical zeal into the armed and violent rescue of youngsters captured by the LRA.

Director Marc Forster - in his first offering since Quantum of Solace - opts for a straightforward retelling of Childers' story without much time for those that question his gung-ho claims or voice concern at his eye-for-an-eye-style methods.

Butler's bullet-headed acting style suits the role and convincingly charts the old biking bruiser's course from heroin-injecting no-hoper to rebel with a Christian cause.

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