So, there has been a lot of talk around the “The Help” by folks in certain quarters about how it’s an offensive and possibly racist look at civil rights because it uses a white woman as a pinwheel around which black stories are told. This writer disagrees somewhat and after watching the trailer for “Machine Gun Preacher,” this movie comes off far more patronizing and condescending, if not outright ridiculous.
Oh sure, the Marc Forster directed film may be based in fact but it’s basically “The Blind Side” with hundreds of small African children instead of a football player and a bazooka instead of Sandra Bullock. Gerard Butler plays Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing Hell’s Angel who found God, set up an orphanage in Sudan in the 1990s, and then formed a militia to prevent the children from being turned into child soldiers. It’s actually a great premise but too bad it comes off with all the subtlety of the many explosions, yelling and Butler firing off eye-rolling and cliched one liners. It seems Sam forgot to pack a bag of nuance before flying over to Africa. But the worst crime of this trailer? How do you show a very brief glimpse of Michael Shannon, and not at least give him a line? Throw us a bone here people!
Michelle Monaghan, Kathy Baker and Souleymane Sy Savane also co-star in the film that will premiere at TIFF before opening on September 23rd. Trailer below or in HD at Apple.