Friday, February 3, 2012

Movie Review: Courageous!

After much anticipation, Sherwood Pictures released their fourth film Courageous to theatres in September of last year. The film immediately became a hit, becoming the fourth most popular movie in the country on opening week. At the box office, the film raised $9 million, topping their previous film Fireproof by $2.2 million. This time around, Sherwood Pictures addresses the much-needed topic of fatherhood in an action-packed and exciting way.

Courageous tells the story of four police officers – Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, David Thomson, and Shane Fuller. The four men are on their way to major successes as law enforcement officers. But when they return home, they find that fatherhood is something they can’t figure out. Sure they are “good enough” fathers, but that doesn’t cut it. But when tragedy strikes the Mitchell household, the foursome is awakened to their need to be fathers that follow God’s plan for their lives. The four men, along with their new friend Javier, sign a declaration to be a Godly father that represents Jesus Christ to their children and drawn them closer to God.

The first thing I noticed about Courageous was that it is ten-times more action packed than their previous films. The very opening scene is a riveting, edge-of-seat scene that leaves the viewer enthralled from moment one. It also does an excellent job of introducing Nathan Hayes (Ken Bevel) who also played in Fireproof. There are plenty of police chases, drug abuse scenes, and violent back alley scenes that make the whole film exciting and nerve-wracking at all once! (Parental guidance may be needed for younger audiences.)

Secondly, the choice of characters was awesome. Alex Kendrick played the main roll again as Adam Mitchell, and is joined by Kevin Downes, who is noted for his leading roles in several PureFlix films. Ben Davies, who plays the roll of David Thompson, does an excellent job of portraying a young father who learns the importance of fatherhood from the other policemen. And for the part of Javier, Robert Amaya was simply phenomenal. His Hispanic personality added so much to the film. In fact, I think Javier’s role will go down as the fan-favorite from Courageous. In one scene in particular, Javier is put in the backseat of a police car next to a criminal. To prevent any trouble, Javier is given permission to play a criminal, as the “Snake King” gang member. It’s true for the storyline, but the details are twisted and Javier begins intimidating the criminal by talking in Spanish! It’s clearly the very best scene of the film, so hysterical that you almost forget your watching an intense action-packed film. All the supportive roles, including Adam’s 15-year-old son Dylan, Javier’s wife Carmen, and Nathan’s wife Kayla, proved to be perfect as well!

There are many emotions portrayed in Courageous. You’ll feel compassion, anger, horror, fear, and many more. Each scene is so excellently acted out, especially the emotions of losing a loved one. This is the first Sherwood Pictures film in which death is used as a climax of the film, but the parts of Adam Mitchell and his wife Victoria (Renee Jewell, who also appeared in a supportive role  in Facing the Giants as a friend of Brooke) did a fantastic job. The viewer will definitely feel for them in their struggle.

Fans of Christian music will also be delighted by the awesome score of Courageous. Third Day’s “Revelation,” Mark Harris’ “When We’re Together,” John Waller’s “As For Me And My House,” and others appear in the film, topped off by Casting Crowns’ brand new single written especially for the film, “Courageous.” All are great treats throughout the film, fitting perfectly where they are placed.

Bust most importantly, the viewer will come to realize the importance of fatherhood. All five fathers in the film sign a resolution to become the fathers God has designed for them to be, and celebrate with an elaborate ceremony in front of their families and spiritual leaders. They hang the resolutions in their homes to remind themselves of their covenant to God and their families.

Courageous is hands-down my favorite Christian film yet! The viewer will use every emotion possible, whether it be sitting on the edge of their seat as a police car window gets shot and glass shatters; crying as they watch broken lives fall further apart; laughing as two fathers tease each other about their lives; or standing in awe at the message presented in this film. I highly recommend this film to every Christian dad or son. This is a FANTASTIC movie!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9VT_NBIVfs?rel=0]

6 comments:

  1. Awesome review Jay! I agree, this movie is my favorite Christian film. I'm glad they made a film on this subject, I just wish my father would've known this when I was growing up. My dad left when I was young. Anyway, this was a heart-breaking, funny, and just plain awesome movie!

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  2. Great review, and I totally agree with you; this is definitely my favorite Christian film and the people at Sherwood Pictures did an amazing job putting this together!

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  3. I love this movie! We went and seen it the day it came out and we could barely get in the theatre we had to sit in the front row, you know teh one touching the screen! It was still worth it though! One of my favorite movies! You gotta love the Snake kings!!!

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  4. I got this movie I just haven't seen it yet. It was a real good movie review. Looking forward to seeing the movie now after reading this review for it. The soundtrack for the album does feature a lot of awesome Christian artists like Third Day, Casting Crowns, John Waller, and many more.

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  5. Terrific review. We saw it, finally. Boy, I cried like a faucet when the girl died. :( I didn't like that part of the movie.

    We are still laughing about the Snake King, though!

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  6. I have so many Christian movies that I want to watch. I hardly watch movies or tv for that matter though. I have to be in the right focused mood. I still have not even seen Fireproof! Boy am I behind the times eh? LOL.

    Awesome review as always!

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