Set in 1920s Mexico, For Greater Glory chronicles the Cristero War and the uprising of the Catholic Mexican population against the publicly anti-Catholic government following the banishment of Roman Catholic non-Mexican born priests from the country.
Andy Garcia stars as Enrique Gorostieta Velardec, a retired ex-General in the Mexican military, and atheist who is hired to lead the Cristada against the government and ex-Comrade, now President, President Plutarco Elias Calles (Rubén Blades).
Through battle and inspiration from young enlistee, José Luis Sánchez del Rio (Mauricio Kuri), Enrique finds his faith as he leads his men into battle.
The directorial debut by Dean Wright, mostly known for his visual effects work with The Lord of the Rings movies, The Chronicles of Narnia movies and Titanic, really lets the audience down with the visual effects in For Greater Glory. At times, the effects were so horrible, they brought memories of 1980s made for TV movies, including: characters running atop a train in front of a green screen, hazy white overlays, poor “flashback” nightmares and shaky camera to imply action.
The dialogue seemed forced at times and other times overly slap-stick for the serious nature of the subject. As well, the many story lines became a bit confusing for anyone not paying close attention.
Like most movies, For Greater Glory did have a few bright spots. The most notable is the performance of 15 year-old Mauricio Kuri (José Luis Sánchez del Rio). As well, many of the hand-to-hand action and gun fighting scenes were great, although others appeared to use green screens and shaky camera to imply action.
I saw For Greater Glory as a pre-release screening last night at AMC Studio 30 in Olathe, KS.
Overall, I give For Greater Glory 5/10, mainly for the intriguing story line and flashes of solid action sequences. Oh ya, Eva Longoria is in this film, but her part is so unmemorable that she is barely worth mentioning.