Is human trafficking one giant right-wing conspiracy? That’s been the insinuation of the left-wing press as they froth at the mouth to attack Sound of Freedom, the surprise box-office hit starring Jim Caveziel.
The film, which is based on a true story, centers on a federal agent who rescues a boy from captivity in South America. When he finds out that the boy’s sister was left behind, he quits his day job and embarks on a thrilling extraction mission to get her out. As action movies go, it follows a formula that was once common in Hollywood (you know, before all the woke stuff), leading to movies like Taken and Tears of the Sun.
It all seems straightforward enough, right? What’s controversial about a movie portraying the saving of a girl from human traffickers? According to the press, you’re just too stupid to figure it out because what the movie is really about is QAnon.
Sound of Freedom: the QAnon-adjacent thriller seducing America https://t.co/tbDjYCxU3C— Guardian US (@GuardianUS) July 6, 2023
However one chooses to slice it, Sound of Freedom has over-delivered on expectations in dollars and cents, a feat of profitability uncommon for a comparatively low-budget production without a major Hollywood-led promotional campaign. Judging by the robust round of applause that concluded the fully-seated screening I attended on Wednesday evening – and this, in the liberal Sodom of Manhattan! – it would seem that the folks at the two-year-old Angel Studios have tapped into a substantial and eagerly marshaled viewership. Following that money leads back to a more unsavory network of astroturfed boosterism among the far-right fringe, a constellation of paranoids now attempting to spin a cause célèbre out of a movie with vaguely simpatico leanings. The uninitiated may not pick up on the red-yarn-and-corkboard subtext pinned onto a mostly straightforward extraction mission in South America, pretty much Taken with a faint whiff of something noxious in the air. Those tuned in to the eardrum-perforating frequency of QAnon, however, have heeded a clarion call that leads right to the multiplex.
Ironically, while The Guardian describes the movie as “paranoid,” the paranoia of their reviewer is palpable as you read his screed. Take this paragraph as an example.
And yet a coating of plausible deniability covers a film that takes care to be the most anodyne version of itself, all while giving those in the know just enough to latch onto. The traffickers are anonymous foreigners, mentioned as “rebels” in an unspecified regional conflict with no connection to the alleged Clinton Crime Family, though a title card at the end points back to America as a hub for the “$150bn business” of exploitation. The religious dimension seldom extends beyond a god-fearing undertone, most perceptible in archetypes like the reformed sinner on the righteous path. (Character actor supreme Bill Camp classes up the joint as “Vampiro”, a former narco who gave up his profligate lifestyle after fornicating with a 14-year-old while in a cocaine haze.) The trafficking follows no motivation more elaborate than the servicing of rich predators, eliding all talk of body-part black markets and the precious organic biochemical of adrenochrome harvested as a Satanic key to eternal life. The first rule of QAnon: you don’t talk about QAnon where the normals can hear you.
So to clarify, there’s no mention of Hillary Clinton in the movie nor is there any mention of any motivation related to QAnon, pizzagate, or the like. Yet, according to the left-wing press, the movie is actually secretly promoting QAnon in a way that “normals” just can’t perceive.
I’ve got one question for this reviewer: Is QAnon in the room with you right now?
This entire thing strikes me as idiotic. I don’t know all the intricacies of what Jim Caveziel believes in his personal life (nor do I care in relation to what made it on the screen), but I do know that Sound of Freedom is clearly not promoting QAnon in any way whatsoever.
Human trafficking is a real issue in the world. It is not a right-wing conspiracy, and these attacks on the film just come across as deranged and weird. Normal people are left asking why major press outlets are trying to downplay human trafficking for political points, and they aren’t wrong for wondering.
One of the producers of the film responded on Fox News.
The hit new film "Sound of Freedom" exposes the atrocities of child sex trafficking & tells the true story of a man who devoted his life to stopping it.— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) July 7, 2023
How does the media react?
The Guardian despicably calls it a "QAnon-adjacent thriller" & a "paranoid new movie."
One of the… pic.twitter.com/kdEsvN0pLK
This is the problem with negative partisanship. It melts brains. The lesson of Sound of Freedom isn’t that there’s some secret QAnon plot that has made it a success. It’s that people tend to like more traditional, morally straightforward narratives in movies. That’s not a commentary on religion in films, but rather that a stark presentation of right and wrong tends to make people feel good and want to watch. That’s why Extraction 2, the recent Netflix release, was so well-received.
Besides, if we are going to start panning movies because of who the actors are and what their beliefs are in the real world, there will be basically nothing left to watch. Hollywood is full of really odd people.