The actors are fantastic, the story is interesting, and the ideals expressed are noble, but “For Greater Glory” is far too long, and encompasses far too much to keep an audiences’ attention for one sitting.
“Glory” tells the true story of the Cristeros War in Mexico during the 1920s. It was an uprising against President Plutarco Elias Calles government’s oppression of the Catholic Church.
The film depicts the brutality of the war as clergymen were hunted down and killed. The rebels, called The League, enlist the help of Enrique Gorostieta Velarde (Andy Garcia) as they wage a war against the Mexican government to prevent the secularization of their country.
Joining the cause out of boredom from his life as a soap maker, Garcia does a solid job as Velarde, the agnostic military man leading the Catholic soldiers. And, if this was the main plotline, it would have made for a great film.
However, the film also focuses on the story of Jose (Mauricio Kuri), a young boy devoted to the cause who serves as an inspiration to Velarde. Then, there is the story of President Calles’ (Ruben Blades) political relationship with U.S. Ambassador Dwight Morrow (Bruce Greenwood).
On top of those three major plots, you have the subplots for each story. It’s hard not to get lost as the film jumps around between the multiple plots.
The overabundance of information draws you out of the film, and the melodramatic scenes sprinkled throughout give it a telenovela feel.
With the large amount of information, this film would have been better off as a miniseries. Most Americans aren’t too familiar with Mexican history, so the film had a lot of teaching to do.
As a miniseries “Glory” could have done a better job telling each story; but as it stands, the film is best suited for a Mexican history class.
The film is rated “R” for war violence and some disturbing images.
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