Reviewed by: Mike Coad
|Featuring:||Alex Kendrick—Adam Mitchell
Ken Bevel—Nathan Hayes
Kevin Downes—Shane Fuller
Ben Davies—David Thomson
Rusty Martin—Dylan Mitchell
Rusty Martin Sr.—Frank Tyson
|Producer:||Alabama Production Group
Stephen Kendrick … producer
|Distributor:||TriStar Pictures / Provident Films|
“Honor begins at home.”
With each new release from the Kendrick brothers, the films seem to be getting progressively better. “Flywheel,” “Facing the Giants,” “Fireproof,” and now “Courageous;” all seem to take it up a notch on filmmaking with each new release. The acting, story development, camera work (with the exception of the shaky gun battle scene), etc. All are noticeably better than the previous films. Will they ever be nominated for an Academy Award®—no—but will they continue to put out films that powerfully convey the message intended—yes. And “Courageous” does just that—the message that fathers matter and can positively or negatively impact the lives of their children and future generations is powerfully displayed.
The story weaves its way through the lives of five fathers with varied past and current family situations. Four of the five are fellow officers, and the fifth is brought in through a somewhat comical encounter that becomes part of the story line. The interaction between these men and their families is convincingly portrayed—most notably in the loss of one of the children of the main character. We are made to feel that loss along with the family, and, in one scene at the dinner table, it felt as though I were right there with them experiencing the same sadness. The message is clear—our time is short with our children—sometimes shorter than expected—make the most of our time with them and show them the love of Christ.
Another theme that is brought out is the need to break free from past wrongs of poor or absent fathers and begin a new pattern for future generations of your family—multi-generational faithfulness. While no father on earth is perfect, there is a continual need for all of us who are fathers to repent of sins against our families—like neglect, apathy, and being a poor example and to model for them their Heavenly Father.
There are quite a few humorous scenes throughout which helps to connect the characters to each other and give a sense of reality to the them. As these five fathers come to the realization that they are not quite where they need to be for their families, they decide to make a “Resolution” that they would endeavor to become the biblical fathers and husbands they need to be. This “Resolution” is a formal document that they sign in a ceremony—I am sure that they will “market” this as they did the Love Dare materials, but as film marketing goes, that is a good thing. There is plenty of action and activity through the film, and, although I felt like 130 minutes may be a bit long, they filled the time very well, and there are only a couple of moments I thought they could have trimmed.
To me there was really no “objectionable” content, but the areas for concern to family viewing would be the violence and drug scenes, which by Hollywood standards are fairly mild. The tenseness and emotion of most of the film really doesn’t make it suitable for younger children anyway, and, quite frankly, that is not the intended audience.
I highly recommend this film and look forward to future efforts by this team of filmmakers.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
official site: CourageousTheMovie.com
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.