Sound of Freedom is based on a true story, following Tim Ballard (Jim Caviezel), a Special Agent in the Department of Homeland Security, who gets tired of only catching child porn viewers, not anybody actually involved in child trafficking, or rescuing victims.
Through this tiredness, he takes matters into his own hands, first by tracking down and rescuing one Colombian boy named Miguel, then using this child’s knowledge to take down an entire small trafficking ring, rescuing over 50 children including the young boy’s sister in the process.
This film, despite what many are saying, is in no way overtly right-wing in its messaging. If that was your main takeaway from a movie about child trafficking that includes sprinkles of Christianity, you may want to reconsider your moral framework. This is coming from a leftist.
No, instead, my major issue with Sound of Freedom is that the story is just not incredibly engaging. By what I’d suspect was 1h25 into the film, I’d thought we were wrapping up, just for a surprise 4th act. This 4th act was engaging at moments, but mostly felt like a B-story or a pitched sequel’s rushed plot.
Now, I understand that this film is based on a true story, and this just means that my criticism is that the film’s plot should’ve been paced differently, not that this “4th act” should’ve been excluded.
There’s still a lot to love here though: The children’s performances are surprisingly spectacular and effective, especially that of Lucás Ávila, the boy who plays Miguel. Furthermore, the message, while not in any way groundbreaking, will turn a lot of reactionary boomers onto the $150B business of child trafficking, as was apparent by the packed crowd of my theatre.
The movie tried to be funny a little too often and rarely was, the pacing was god-awful, and, despite what Caviezel says in the special message at the end, does seem to be telling Ballard’s hero tale.
But the saving grace of Sound of Freedom is that, while many key players in the production of this film are openly supportive of QAnon or QAnon conspiracy theories, this support didn’t bluntly seep into the messaging of the final product. Tim Ballard has been accused of many things including fabricating this entire story, and seems like a general dirtbag, but Sound of Freedom ended up being a classic case of separating art from the artist.
I’m feeling a solid 6/10 for Sound of Freedom. It’s an important message, but I can honestly say that I was bored out of my mind for about a quarter of the movie, which felt like half. The film could’ve been great, but was just good.
Until next time, I’ve kept it reel.