pecaspers: a Blog in transition

October 2, 2011

Courageous: A Movie Review

Filed under: My Life in General — pecaspers @ 10:20 PM

I saw Courageous this afternoon. If you haven’t heard of the film, it’s from the same folks who brought us Fireproof, Facing the Giants, and the lesser known Fly Wheel. If I’m still not ringing any bells, the “folks” I’m referring to are the people of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA. As I was leaving the Montgomery Rave, I heard a woman telling someone else about the movie. She described it as “a Christian movie about being a godly father,” or something like that. I’ll leave the “what makes a movie Christian?” conversation for some other time. Besides, this is a Christian movie.

Facing the Giants had weak acting in major roles and just lacked the polish of a major motion picture in a lot of ways. Fireproof had better lead acting (only slightly helped by Kirk Cameron), and a better production quality, but suffered from some pretty campy prayer and gospel presentation scenes. Fly Wheel, well, you probably haven’t seen it, but it was their first film and I’ll give them legitimate applause for it being as good as it is. Courageous moved most of the weak acting to the background. The production quality was at least as good as Fireproof, with the possible exception of what I would call lazy editing in the last quarter of the movie. The campiness is turned down, but still present. (I think that’s just because acted-prayer and scripted gospel presentations are just really hard to act out. Get DeNiro and Streep to actually repent and believe on camera, then ask them to act it out, and the second one will look campy.) A compelling story has never been a problem for Sherwood (too predictable, maybe, but not lacking entertainment value); this one was designed to make Marine drill sergeants cry and want to be better men.

I’m not going to spoil it for you, so no worries there. The basic details are these: it focuses on a sheriff’s deputy in Albany, GA, his family, his closest guy friends, and their families. Adam, the protagonist, decides he has not lived up to the expectation God has for fathers, and he sets out to do something about it. His friends are carried along in his wake…or get on board…or whatever masculine nautical metaphor you would like. It’s a good story pretty well told, and the messages it carries are desperately needed in our country. (You know what else is hard to act without sounding campy? Statistics. Go see the movie, and you’ll know what I mean).

Final analysis: You’ll sit through gratuitous sex and violence, you’ll endure drug use and profanity, you’ll watch strange and plotless flicks because some fat guy in LA calls it artistic. (Don’t get me wrong. I like fast cars, dismembered zombies, robots, explosions, and even exploding robot zombie cars–which was pretty much Transformers: Dark of the Moon, right?) Are you telling me you won’t pony up the cost of a movie ticket to go laugh a lot, cry on and off for an hour, and be challenged to be a real man? Grow a pair, buy a ticket, take your hanky, and go find out that the pair you grew isn’t big enough.

One beef: LifeWay and other retail outlets catering to Christian-culture are merchandizing this movie out the wazoo. Will t-shirts, key-chains, and coffee mugs really advance the message of this film? They did it with Fireproof too with the whole “Love Dare” thing. I just don’t know why we are so willing to add an extra price tag to make extra money off of the gospel and a call to godliness. But maybe they’re rolling the royalties into the next movie.

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