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Review: Machine Gun Preacher

White-savior storyline
By ANN LEWINSON  |  September 27, 2011
2.0 2.0 Stars

Jesus does funny things to people: one day you're sitting on a toilet shooting heroin; the next you're building an orphanage in war-torn southern Sudan. That's what happened to Sam Childers, a self-described "hillbilly from Pennsylvania" who went Rambo, commanding local soldiers and rescuing thousands of children. This has earned him the arguable honor of being portrayed by Gerard Butler in Marc Forster's film, which plays like an R-rated Christian movie spliced with a CARE PSA. All conflict — including a crisis of faith — is shoehorned into its suspiciously edited last act, and its white-savior storyline makes The Help look like something written by Stokely Carmichael. With Michelle Monaghan (the poor gal's Sandra Bullock) as an unlikely ex-junkie stripper, and daughter Paige (Madeline Carroll) whining, "You love them black babies more than you love me!," it's can't be too soon when Chris Cornell sings, in an appalling song over the closing credits, "Beauty and truth collide/where love meets genocide."

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