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If you have been anywhere near social media in the past three months, you have likely heard about Sound of Freedom. It’s the brave film “woke commies” don’t want you to watch. It is a topic so bombastic that critics only hate because they are being paid by the deep state. It cannot possibly be because it’s a bad film. The subject trumps everything.

Sound of Freedom is an abject film. It really is. There’s little I can bring to this discussion that could be worth it because the people who should learn why this film is terrible aren’t listening, and the others are thankfully running from it. In case you are one of the few who has never heard of this project, what it represents, and who is spearheading it, let me give you the context.

Sound of Freedom is the (supposedly) true story of Tim Ballard (played with annoying intensity by Jim Caviezel) and his quest to save Honduran children kidnapped by sex traffickers. Initially, Ballard works as a Homeland Security undercover agent targeting paedophiles. Frustrated that his job only goes after the perpetrators and never saves children, Ballard quits to focus on the mission to find the young sister of a recent rescue. A trip takes him to Colombia, where he pairs with another undercover agent called Vampiro (Bill Camp) to entice traffickers by pretending to open a members-only island for the rich and powerful where they can purchase children.

Child trafficking is an unthinkable tragedy. Proof humanity is not only flawed but diseased. And yet, to tackle this weighty subject with the heavy-handedness of a sub-par preacher, it’s to dissolve its impact to a handful of bullet points. Does the film address these cases’ social impact and geopolitical implications? Of course not. Does the movie put a mirror in front of Ballard’s life? Does he ever realise the privilege of his status? Also no.

The film starts with two young children being recruited by a charming talent scout.Their father trusts the lovely lady who talks to him. Later, when he realises what happened, he runs in despair and is not seen again until the film’s end. Did he just forget about his kids?

The whiff of white saviour in Sound of Freedom is only a tiny problem in the film. The dog whistles make the alarm sound, and it’s not surprising that only the worst people in modern politics are backing this film, making it colloquially known as “that QAnon film”. The real Ballard is not immune to controversy, as many of his accounts have been proven to be exaggerated, and he has been criticised by other legitimate organisations for sensationalism and driving funding away from groups trying to fix things.

But above all that, above all the murmur and noise. Beyond the politics and controversies and horrendous people involved in this project – including one of the film’s financiers who has recently been arrested for… child trafficking – past all that, Sound of Freedom is dull. It’s never interesting and exciting. Most of the action is just people sitting around, talking, nay whispering, about how children should be protected. There is no depth, no weight, and no character development. Nothing that elevates its story beyond the tedious machinations of its plot. It treats the issue with mundanity by not showing any human side. You feel for the kids because you have a heart, but it’s also dirty how they are all accessories to the fact that props are used to make Ballard a great American hero.

Filmmaker Alejandro Gómez Monteverde did not intend to make Sound of Freedom political, in which case I’m sorry to say that this is so devoid of any artistic touch, it’s almost naif. But he also left enough dog whistles, answered by a group whose existence needs to be validated by connecting this horrible tragedy with those trying to stop a particular ex-American president from running, and winning, again.

Verdict: 0 out of 5
For no one.