Movie Review: 'Machine Gun Preacher' -- 2.5 stars

Souleymane Sy Savane ?Deng? and Gerard Butler ?Sam

Souleymane Sy Savane “Deng” and Gerard Butler “Sam Childers” save kidnapped children. (Phil Bray) (Credit: Souleymane Sy Savane “Deng” and Gerard Butler “Sam Childers” save kidnapped children. (Phil Bray))

Machine Gun Preacher
2.5 stars
Directed by Marc Forster
Starring Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan
Rated R

“Machine Gun Preacher” is not exactly breaking the mold when it comes to moviemaking, but the story it tells will at least leave an impression.

Directed by Marc Forster, “Preacher” is based on the true story of Sam Childers (Gerard Butler), a Pennsylvania man who gave up a life of drinking, hog riding and heroin shooting after he found God.

Newly reformed, he travels to Africa on a church mission and channels his energy into starting an orphanage in Sudan. He rescues children from the notoriously murderous Lord’s Resistance Army by any means necessary, even violence (hence the title).

You can see why someone wanted to make a movie about Childers, who, with his biker gear and prodigious mustache, isn’t your typical preacher, let alone the kind of guy who normally builds orphanages in Africa. But though his story is impressive, the movie tells it clumsily. Childers surely has witnessed more trauma than most of us will ever see, but Forster tries to shoehorn it all into one film, when a more concise movie could have made a greater impact.

Playing at Regal Union Square and AMC Loews Lincoln Square  

Tags: Entertainment , Mina Hochberg , Machine Gun Pracher , Marc Forster , Gerard Butler , Michelle Monaghan

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