Reviewed by: Eric Bell
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Many people are convinced that traditional marriages don’t work and that this practice should be abandoned. What does the Bible say about marriage?
Christian Divorce and Remarriage—Under what conditions may Christians divorce and remarry? Answer
How can I tell if I'm getting addicted to pornography or sex? Answer
|Featuring||Kirk Cameron, Erin Bethea, Alex Kendrick, Bailey Cave, Jason McLeod, Tommy McBride, Jim McBride, See all »|
|Producer||Sherwood Pictures, Provident Films, Michael Catt, Jim McBride, David Nixon, Tracy Goode, Brad Weston|
|Distributor||Samuel Goldwyn Films|
“Never leave your partner behind”
You are about to embark on a life changing experience when you view this incredible film. The quality of this story is simply amazing, especially in a spiritual and moral sense. And yet, it is edge-of-your-seat entertainment. You will engage intense drama, nail biting excitement, plot and subplot, romance and fear. One moment you will be laughing and the next trying not to cry. Kids will cheer, and adults will check their racing hearts. It is so real, so true, and will relate to everyone in many ways.
“Fireproof” is a story of true love, hope and salvation in a day when marriages are marked with infidelity, lack of commitment and selfishness. As we cheer fireman Captain Caleb Holt into burning buildings and runaway disasters, he and his wife, human relations director Catherine Holt, struggle with ordinary everyday marital issues. Bank accounts, dry cleaning, shopping and doing the dishes become small sparks that result in a devastating fire to their hearts and souls. While Caleb enjoys the role of community hero and somewhat of a savior, he finds it impossible to contain the inferno of his own marriage. Catherine sees no hero here, but rather finds him disappointing as husband, provider, and friend.
As the movie progresses, we continue to enjoy the excitement of Caleb’s job as fire chief. Fires are fought, people are saved and heroes receive their accolades. But the fire at home rages on. As the couple conclude that their marriage is a mistake and that their personal lives offer so much more excitement than their married life, in steps Caleb’s father. Himself a contributor to a damaged marriage in the past, he offers his son a challenge and a gift just prior to the divorce papers being signed. His simple request: would his son take a 40 day challenge before Caleb inks those fateful documents. As a favor to his dad, Caleb complies and begins a venture into what a true husband and hero really are. And on this journey, he finds an even greater Gift—and Love than he knew existed. As this self-centered hero becomes a selfless servant, his wife warms to the Gift Caleb has received and begins her own spiritual awakening.
The struggles that this marriage encounter are contemporary issues that hold some truth in all of our lives and might even hit a little too close to home. While sin is dealt with at face value, I appreciated the producers ability to demonstrate it without sucking us in. It might sound a little odd, but these sin issues were tastefully and respectfully addressed. I might want to relate to sin that someone else is dealing with, but I don’t want to fall into it or have it become a struggle simply by watching a movie about it. It is painfully clear that Captain Holt struggles with many sin issues. His marriage suffers for it, and we cringe as we see him fall prey to it. But I did not feel that the movie itself was a carrier for this temptation. There was no need to close my eyes or feel ashamed to have my wife (or Jesus for that matter) sitting next to me.
In the same way, Catherine Holt is tempted and then seduced by a sin issue. Again, we are not drawn into it or given such gory details that we feel like we have become a part of it. I have yet to see the effectiveness of this thematic detail accomplished so well as in “Fireproof.” It allows me to fully recommend adults viewing this film without shuddering as to how they will deal with it. In the end, I certainly did find myself praying against the prowling adversary that plagues us all (I Peter 5:8,9). Thank you Alex and Stephen Kendrick (producer/writers/actor) for taking such care in producing this film.
There, of course, will be critics. I’m sure the focus will be on the actors and their ability to turn in Oscar® winning performances. Here is what I can really appreciate about his movie. It balances on the story and the subtle but powerful message of hope in Christ. In these days of multi-million dollar actors and actresses, “Fireproof” does not rely on them to carry this story. With Kirk Cameron as the only recognized professional actor, the characters become humble bearers of this wonderful story. Undoubtedly, they will receive the praises of their Heavenly Father without need for the fickle and fleeting kudos of an Oscar’s committee.
“Fireproof” has deep adult issues that it deals with. Having said that, I believe that it would be beneficial to take your teens. The adult issues are ones that you can talk through with them and learn some excellent life lessons that should not be ignored. “Fireproof” is a great opportunity to dialogue concerning sin issues and the good news of salvation. While your kids under 12 would enjoy the heart-pounding excitement of “Fireproof,” you would need to evaluate whether they are mature enough to discuss divorce, marital conflict and sin issues.
For those of you that pick up every detail, watch for the unusual stunt double scene at the end of the story. If you can find the mystery actor, it will reveal the amazing care, authenticity and integrity that was put into the making of this movie.
If you want to see a movie that will tug at your heart and could possibly change your life and marriage, you must see this film. We loved it and are excited to tell our friends. In fact, we aren’t waiting for the DVD. We’re going to take as many people as we can and see it on the big screen again.
Thank you Sherwood films. You’ve done it again (“Flywheel,” “Facing the Giants”). What an amazing movie. What a powerful tool. What an exciting ride.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
Positive—I mainly wanted to respond to Adam Renkovish’s and Tony’s reviews. First off (pertaining to Adam's), saying that in order for a film to be more effective for the gospel it needs to be more “subtle” is a lie straight from Satan. Again and again the bible says that people are saved through the preaching of the gospel. Of course people are going to be “turned off” by the movie. After all, the Bible calls the cross “an offense” (and the movie also makes mention of this). People don't like to be told that they are wicked sinners whose thoughts are only evil continually (Gen. 6:5) (and squishy so-called “Christians” don't like to hear this either). Like the Apostle Paul says… we should preach Christ crucified, and boast only in the cross! I have a lot of atheist/pagan friends who probably won't see this movie. And if the movie was more “subtle” (the cross is NEVER subtle… so that's a contradiction of itself), then my atheist/pagan friends would hear no gospel, and apart from hearing the gospel, they cannot be saved (Romans 10:14). So what am I called to do? Tell them myself! (Mark 16:15)
This movie is also great for reaching Christians who are starving for truth and aren't getting it in their lukewarm churches. I was surprised that they were bold enough to make the comment that we should NOT trust our hearts because it is deceitful (Jer. 17:9). I was also shocked that it was basically teaching that a man should be leading his home.
This leads me to my second response from Tony. So you think it's ridiculous that a woman is like a rose and that she can wilt? Have you not read 1 Peter 3:7? Isaiah 19:16? Jeremiah 51:30? Nahum 3:13? Women are weaker than men. They are more easily deceived (1 Timothy 2:14). Women were also given a different role (1 Cor 11:8-9). They were created as a helper for their husbands (Gen. 2:18). Again and again, the bible makes it clear that ideally, women need to be LOVED AND CARED FOR by their HUSBANDS (Eph. 5:25-33).
Have you not also read the Song of Solomon? Where a wife is clearly compared to a garden that needs to be tended and cared for? Wives need special care, and they tend to close up and harden when they are TRAMPLED ON.
All I know is that in order to have a BIBLICAL marriage, a person must understand that a husband needs to love and lead his wife as Christ does the church (Christ is the head of the Church, and the husband is the head of his wife and family), and a woman needs to respect and submit to her husband just as the church does to Christ. When the church fails to understand this, the family falls apart. When the family falls apart then society falls apart. When society falls apart… well… we're seeing this right now.
As for my own comments on the movie (if it hasn't been covered yet), my only beef with the movie is that I really did not like how they had that giant cross. As New Testament believers, we do not need all these symbols and shadows to worship God. That is an Old Testament thing, and even in the OT, they were only to do as God prescribed. As NT believers… (as Jesus says…) we should worship in spirit and in truth. We should not be using objects as the point of our worship (this could be argued as breaking the 2nd commandment… idolatry). I watched the deleted scenes, and I am very glad that they took out the scene where Kirk Cameron was praying to the cross. It really scared me. We should not pray to objects!!! That is idolatry!!!
I know some of you may think that this is not a big deal, but it is. But I still want to give a positive review because I see this movie as a continual moving toward God reforming His church. His church is not perfect, and she certainly is confused on many issues, but God is definitely doing a work here!
Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
Positive—This is a response to Tony's negative review—to say this is not something that can help people is absurd. Our God is not so small that He always has to part the sea and talk through burning bushes, He, in fact, CAN and often does use our media for His purposes. We need to just give thanks that this movie is clean, has a God centered message when it comes to the sanctity of marriage, and not ascribe to Saul/Pharisee ideology. (I think there is good reason that the vast majority of this film's comments are positive-because the message is God centered and clean.)
Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Several members of the ministry staff of Christian Answers Team Member Living Waters/Way of the Master went to a sneak preview of “Fireproof” (premiers September 26, 2008). The consensus was universal, this movie is a “slam-dunk.”Ray Comfort:
“‘Fireproof’ isn't just a wonderful, entertaining, heartwarming, life-changing tear-jerker. It presents a powerful and clear God-honoring gospel message that will make you want to shout for joy. Kirk Cameron’s performance is stunning.”Emeal “E.Z.” Zwayne, Executive Vice President, Living Waters:
“Simply put, ‘Fireproof’ is a life changer! It powerfully and creatively delivers a timely message to a generation that desperately needs it. It is one of the most inspirational movies I have every seen. I can hardly wait to take my friends to see it!”Mark Spence, Dean of the School of Biblical Evangelism:
“I loved this movie for the sole reason that it was a breath of fresh air in the midst of the normal Hollywood smog. I've seldom witnessed audiences participating in a film as much as this one. There was crying, laughing, and cheering from the crowd. I have to say, that in an age of super budgeted feature films where most come and go in a couple of weeks after tanking, ‘Fireproof’ outshines and out classes them with this heartfelt homerun.”
Visit fireproofthemovie.com to learn how you can support the movie in your community.