Review of the Sound of Freedom written by Rod Barr and Alejandro Monteverde, Directed by Alejandro Monteverde rating *****
It’s not until the end of the film do you learn that sex trafficking and child abductions are the leading criminal activity in the world. Unlike drugs, which can only be sold once, children can be sold over and over again for ten or more years.
The film begins with surveillance footage of children being abducted. This “based on a true story” film tells the story of Tim Ballard, a homeland security agent, and his efforts to rescue an abducted child after learning from a rescued little boy that his sister is still being held. It’s a great premise. The fact that it is also true makes it even more compelling.
The film starts out with Tim Ballard, played by Jim Caviezel, catching a pedophile. When another character asks him how many children he has saved, he replies that his job is to catch the pedophiles. It’s not long before he sets out on a mission to rescue one little boy. That rescue turns into a search for the little boy’s sister and ultimately dozens of other abducted children.
One scheme that Tim comes up with is to lure child traffickers into rounding up as many children as they can for rich pedophiles who agree to pay $100,000 a year for membership in an exclusive club based on an island. He had to quit his job in order to continue with the plan after his bosses denied his requests for more funding. This part of the story you know is true because at the end of the film, they show video footage of the police raid on the island.
That scheme did free over fifty abducted children (the actual number was over 100), but the little girl he was looking for was not among those rescued. Tim learns that the little girl was sold to the leader of a rebel group and taken to a part of Columbia where she is impossible to reach.
When the Columbian police tell him that they can not go into this particular jungle region, Tim devises a plan to go into the region disguised as a doctor wanting to administer vaccines. Tim Ballard was involved in the development of the film, so It’s likely that some or all of this section is true. If so, it shows the risks Tim Ballard was willing to take to find and free this one little girl.
I saw the film on July 4, thinking that I would miss the Indiana Jones crowds. The theatre, however, was packed. Then I came home and watched the Netflix movie Extraction II. I’ll take a story like The Sound of Freedom over a nonsense film like Extraction II any day.
Update: After watching this film I was curious about the stories going around explaining why it has taken five years for the film to be released. It boils down to political views. Apparently, studios were reluctant to release the film primarily due to the political views of the star Jim Caviezel and the person he plays Tim Ballard. There was also a question about the authenticity of the story. Add to this that right-wing conservatives are now latching on to this movie to somehow say that this film is about democrats and child sex rings.
I listened to an interview that Jim Caviezel did for the movie. It started out fine but soon drifted into Jim Caviezel talking about our failed border and babies being killed 27 days after birth. I kind of get the reluctance for studios to get behind a film like this when the star of the film is spouting nonsense. Does that make me dislike the film? No, I still think it’s a great movie.