The Mrs. and I had a way-too-rare date night this past Friday, and we went to see the new movie Courageous. This movie is from the same group that did Fireproof. The general framework of the story is a group of Sheriff's deputies that struggle with personal and work hardships and their faith.
It could be legitimately characterized as a sermon wrapped up in a so-so plot. To be fair, it was almost exactly what I expected. The story telling and acting were better this time around than they were in Fireproof. The cinematography was better as well, but still week. You can tell the Kendrick's are coming into their own, but are working with a smaller budget than the big movie houses.
I do like the subtle "twist" in the story line. By this, I mean that for me, my first impression (I didn't read the advertising slug for the movie, just heard radio spots) was that it would be about guys who exhibited courage in their careers. Knowing who was involved in the film, I should have realized that was a simplistic view. Instead, the movie takes guys in a demanding job, on where everyday courage would be expected, and then counters that by looking at what God's definition of courageous might be.
Is it more courageous to apprehend criminals, or to stand up for your family? What kind of courage does it take to make a stand and say "I will do what's right, regardless"? What sort of courage is required to say "No" to your kids now, so that you can "Yes" to them later?
Those are all questions this film attempts to answer.
All in all, I think it does a good job. Will the mainstream movie industry accept this film? Most likely not. On IMDB, it's receiving a little over a 6/10 rating, which is better than I thought it would have. This film is intended for a very specific audience, and in that regard it achieves what it sets out to do. In our theater, it seemed quite well received (there was a round of applause at the conclusion).
I can see this film being used as an outreach or challenge opportunity by churches, and not just a date night flick couples.
If Christian-centric morality plays don't turn you off, I can highly recommend this movie.