Review: Sound of Freedom
Blu-ray: Sound of Freedom (2023)
When Sound of Freedom plopped onto 60MW towers floor, we argued, yes, argued because we were happy to watch, but terrified of reviewing this very talked about film.
I’d heard all sorts of stuff about it, from its troubled production, Fox news’ advocacy, Mel Gibson and Kim Caviezel’s goggle eyed rantings about it and Jesus and …. Oh GOD, was it worth it? We’re extremely open minded here at 60MW, but some things seem untouchable because we don’t get into politics or religion (privately we do, but this is an entertainment site and podcast).
So instead of regurgitating all the … ummm…. ‘news’ about this film, I offered to review it solely on the film’s merits, and nothing else. No Fox news here.
Roberto Aguilar, after a woman called Giselle turns up at his house out of the blue, allows his 2 young children to audition for her. When he arrives the room is full of little kids and he’s told to come back at 7pm. When he gets back the kids are gone, she’s taken them to be sold into sex slavery.
Back in the USA and married with 6 kids, Tim Ballard (Jim Caviezel) is an agent for homeland security whose job is cracking paedophile rings. He meets one, and pretends to be a paedo in order to catch ‘Mr Big’. His plan works and not only does he get his man, but finds some trafficked kids too.
One child is Miguel who was abducted at the beginning of the film with his sister Rocío who is still missing. He begins a quest to find Rocío, and stop Giselle.
In Colombia he meets with Vampiro (Bill Camp) a former Cali Cartel accountant, who after having sex ‘unknowingly’ with a child prostitute, now works to save children from sex trafficking and gains information on Giselle.
Tim’s boss back in the USA won’t let him continue his ‘Holy quest’ and Tim resigns, then gets a rich backer to literally set him and Vampiro up on ‘sex island’ as a sting to catch the bad guys.
I won’t spoil the end. So – this film is full of plot holes, but I have to say it’s not boring. Tim mentions twice he’s on some sort of mission commanded by God and the cast do wear pretty massive Crucifix’s, so the God stuff is there, but they’re not ramming it down your throat non-stop.
It’s also pretty subdued. At the end Tim has to save Rocio, and to do that he must kill the big boss, which is done in shadow and cut aways. You don’t see a thing.
This is such a delicate, and horrific subject to tackle, you can either go balls out kill everyone or be a bit of a wet fart. This is neither. It’s obvious these leering men are going to or have raped the little girl cowering on the bed covered in bruises, but there’s never the punishment we want to see, the men being stabbed/strangled/hurt MADE TO SUFFER for what they’ve done. It’s all very….tame. Though based on a true story I guess the filmmakers wanted to stay as authentic as possible.
As you all know, at 60MW we love action films, good ones and bad ones, and on watching this we all agreed if someone like the late and great Tony Scott had directed this film, it could have been a belter. This is like a wet version of Rambo 4, hot sticky jungle yuk with rape (oh yeah you forgot that bit didn’t you?), but with no retribution. Scott would have made the bad men pay, graphically, and we the audience would have been satisfied.
Finally, Sound of Freedom isn’t as bad as you think it’ll be, that’s if you can watch it without all the baggage surrounding it.
Review by Tina from a disc kindly supplied by Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment via The Warrior Agency.