Saturday, September 17, 2011
Courageous Movie Review: "They Needed Rifles"
As the Director of a Ministry to Law Enforcement, I will admit that when I found out the newest movie from Sherwood Pictures would be a law enforcement theme, I was excited. I had kept up closely with the previous movies made by Sherwood Baptist Church and they just kept getting better. Fireproof came out in 2008 and took Christian Movies to a new level and my thought with Courageous was clear. If it was anything close to Fireproof, then it would be an incredible resource for our ministry in reaching law enforcement.
This week, after 460 pre-screenings of the movie, I found myself in a room with about 30 church leaders and law enforcement officers and I watched Courageous for the first time. The movie comes out on September 30, 2011, and my verdict is in....It is not only as good as Fireproof (see our review here) but takes Christian Movies to a level we have never seen before. That value is not only in the professional look of the movie and the plot line and good acting but also in it's unwavering approach to the Bible, God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
When so many movies that are labeled "Christian" tend to be just good "Family" Movies, I can tell you that Courageous does not waver and has not bent to the echoes of Hollywood on generalizing spirituality in an effort to appeal to the masses. It is for this reason, that I can whole heartedly recommend this movie and I am honored to have been able to watch the progress it has taken and I believe when it opens, it will shock the secular movie industry with it's success.
It doesn't take long to see that this movie doesn't have the look of a typical low budget movie. In fact, I hesitate to even say it is low budget but I'm certain that on opening weekend it will certainly be the lowest cost movie made and with that said, you will not get that impression. The opening scene will make that clear for you.
Just after the opening excitement, we get the theme of this movie when the Sheriff tells his men about the dangers of not being a good father and tells them that "when you clock out, go home and love your families."
We see many other sub-plots in the movie which is done by design. Simply, there will be something for everyone here. Officers speak about their absentee fathers and how it affected them and discussions on marriage occur.
"People do not fight for their marriage anymore....divorce happens because people make it an option"
And just when you thought Courageous would settle into discussions about family, parenting, etc. a tragedy occurs and the emotional roller coaster begins. Ths is when you begin to see that the men and women behind Sherwood Pictures are their own voices. It is clear that no one outside the ministry is dictating these plots and scenes. The emotion continues and quite honestly it has been a little over 24 hours since seeing the movie and it is still not over for me. I don't think it ever will be and I have no doubt as my life continues, I will experience things that will revert me back to this movie.
This is the beauty of Courageous.
The emotion and the comedy and exhalting Christ in the midst of it was so refreshing.
"We have a living hope because Jesus lives....Make sense of this for me."
It has almost become a cliche in the Christian Genre that someone in the movie becomes saved and all of a sudden great, earthly things start to happen. Of course we know that Biblically, becoming a Christian can bring great hardship (Matthew 10:22, Acts 9:29, Acts 9:15-16, Matthew 10:17-22) and I so appreciate the honesty in the Movie Courageous. You see real life with real questions and real struggles. In short, you see sinners, saved by grace, struggling to live their faith and that is real life and that makes Courageous an unbelievable resource for every Christian and Non-Christian.
In closing, I want to thank Joel & Crystal Jones. I was originally scheduled to see this movie last March but I was travelling at the time. They went in my place and gave me the information I needed to pursue this movie further. Their confidence in the movie was important to me. Michael Coughlin has also been a huge help to our ministry. He also went to the movie in April and wrote an excellent review for our ministry. Michael has also been instrumental in helping us with our outreach for this movie that aims to give free showings to law enforcement across the country. You can find out more details on that here.
And you may wonder why I've titled this as "They Needed Rifles"? For that explanation, you will need to watch the movie......and trust me, they needed rifles.