[Film review] Sound of Freedom

Review by John P. Harvey.

Action crime thriller Sound of Freedom follows Federal agent Tim Ballard (Jim Caviezel) as he pursues his deepening commitment to halting the world’s fastest-growing industry, child trafficking.  The abstract problem of a historically unprecedented global slave trade in millions of children has become concrete for Ballard in the form of an innocent young boy, Miguel (Lucás Ávila).  Ballard is able to rescue Miguel from traffickers acting in the United States and therefore under the jurisdiction of Ballard’s employer, the Department of Homeland Security.  But, in rescuing Miguel, Ballard learns of the plight of the boy’s sister, Rocio (Cristal Aparicio).  Rocio has been taken from the U.S. to Colombia, beyond U.S. jurisdiction.

Despite constraints on his employer’s support for this, Ballard travels to Columbia and obtains reluctant local police cooperation in the person of Jorge (Javier Godino).  Ballard and Jorge, with the help of former criminal Vampiro (Bill Camp), plan a clever sting operation to catch the trafficking principals in the act and rescue a substantial number of children.

When Ballard learns that the operation is going to require far more resources than anticipated, and in the face of his department’s refusal to provide further help, he, Jorge, and Vampiro recruit local investor Paul (Eduardo Verástegui) for financial backing; but it will be up to just two brave men — Ballard and Vampiro —  to undertake a journey into the criminal darkness surrounding Cartagena that not even the Colombian military dare enter, to face the most ruthless of them all: El Alacrán (Gerardo Taracena).

Though it’s certainly engaging through action, sleuthing, and problem-solving, Sound of Freedom equally elicits our own sympathies by its lead characters’ emotional responses to the plight of children in sexual slavery as well by the utter believability of the child leads themselves.  Beautifully filmed and produced and tightly scripted, this is one action film that will leave you feeling rewarded emotionally and knowing that you’ve seen something important, a film helping transform the invisible into the historic, marking it as a major humanitarian crisis of our times.  Caviezel’s commitment to the role of Ballard (whom he resembles surprisingly and who insisted on him for the role), Godino’s coolness as local law enforcement, and Camp’s embrace of the been-there-done-that ex-criminal role of Vampiro all help keep us as involved as the action does.

It’s in cinemas for just a short time.  Don’t miss it.

Screening at Dendy, Palace, Hoyts, and Limelight cinemas.

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