Courageous

Posted: February 11, 2012 in Movie Reviews

When five fathers resolve to become better fathers than those before them, they find themselves doubly accountable to God and to their families.

Well, folks, they’ve done it again! The small church from Georgia that previously made such Christian greats like Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof  have made another powerful film that touches on a tender theme. These stories just keep getting better with each film. Flywheel and Facing the Giants  taught about staying strong in your faith, no matter what may come; Fireproof  was about maintaining a healthy, strong marriage; and Courageous  adds to the collection with a powerful message to fathers: become the men God intended you to be.

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 Summary: (May contain spoilers)

Four policemen, four fathers, four callings. As their profession, they keep the streets safe and fight for justice everyday. But they have difficult times keeping order in their own homes. Each one must make the decision that every man has to face—the balance between home and work. For officer Adam Mitchell, his relationship with his son definitely has room for improvement. For the others, it’s a similar story. Sure, they provide financially for their families, but when it comes to that essential love and strength—the “glue” that holds the family together—they fall short.

For officer Nathan Hayes, the struggle to keep his family on the same page proves difficult. He warns his 15-year-old daughter against the dangers of dating at such a young age, but she seems bent on dating who she deems “right” for her.

Officer Shane Fuller must deal with raising a child on his own, and rookie officer David Thomson has to face the issue regarding his illegitimate baby girl. Without good role models in their lives, how could these fathers be expected to provide sufficient role models for their children? The issue of good parenting seems of no immediate importance in their lives, until a tragedy strikes close to their hearts.

When Adam’s young daughter dies in a car crash, the family is devastated and must wrestle with the issue of why God could allow such an awful calamity to occur. It’s only now that Adam realizes the great importance of being a good father, and is dejected at the thought that he should have done a better job. He recalls an earlier scene in the film where his daughter had asked him to dance with her in a public place, but he refused because there were too many people around. However, he resolves to become that better father to his son, who he’s nearly ignored for the past several years.

The four fathers, and another man working for Adam, make an official resolution, complete with a formal ceremony, and vow to form healthier relationships with their families. However, as good as it looks on the walls of their homes, the resolution proves hard to commit to, and they find themselves struggling to stay faithful to their promises. When Shane is caught stealing drugs from the evidence department to make more money, the resolution seems to become ineffective. But from this tragic discovery comes an important lesson: never let go of the wheel.

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 The thing I loved about not only Courageous, but the other films, is that each person can take something away from it even though it’s primarily targeted toward a certain group (Fireproof  was for married couples, Courageous is for fathers). While dads watching this film will learn an invaluable lesson, others will also learn the importance of the family and staying together. The movie touches on various aspects of fatherhood. Whether you’re raising a child alone, dealing with illegitimacy, coping with a death, or working with rebelliousness, the call is still the same: “Train up your child in the way he should go, and when he’s older he will not part from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

For those who argue that Flywheel  had poor cinematography; Facing the Giants  had bad acting; and Fireproof ‘s  action scenes weren’t impressive enough, watch Courageous and be amazed. They have definitely upped the ante with this one. Cinematography has certainly improved, acting is more up to par, and the cops-and-robbers chase scenes were perfectly executed. Several hilarious, laugh-out-loud scenes. I myself was amazed at the level of professionalism displayed in this film.

Of course, these things aren’t what make Courageous, or any of the others, great. What makes them worthwhile is their timeless message that reaches out and touches your heart. After his daughter dies, Adam goes back to the exact spot his daughter had invited him to dance, plays the same song, and dances by himself. All I can say is bring some tissue. If you take the family, buy a family-size box. This movie will grip you in ways the others haven’t.

The need is great, the fathers few, the call is sounded: become the fathers God made you to be; raise your children in a Godly fashion; work in the area God has placed you in; never lose sight of what’s really important; and never  let go of the wheel. I strongly suggest watching this movie with your father, or at least the closest father-figure you have in your life. Even though the MPAA doesn’t consider this a great film, God considers it so. I’m giving it a strong 9/10 for wholesome Biblical morals.

 

 

 

9 stars

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