A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Movie Talk: Courageous (2011)

Several weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast in which Charles Colson (founder of Prison Fellowship) was conversing with political and cultural commentator, Mark Steyn about his new book, America Alone. During the course of their dialogue, Steyn mentioned that during the last several decades, the importance of fathers has come under severe attack in our culture. As a case in point, Colson noted that in his work with prisons that a large number of (can't recall the exact stats here) young men end up incaracerated because of the absence of fathers in their lives.

Courageous, the new film by the Kendrick brothers who brought us Fireproof a couple of years ago, feels like a clarion call for men to take up their role as fathers with gravity and fervour.
The story centres around the lives of five men, four of whom are local law enforcement officers. These men are familiar to us... they are fathers, they live, they work in our neighbourhoods and they struggle with all kinds of decisions daily, trying to find their moral compass.

Despite its overt intentions, Courageous is not just a sermon with pictures. It also manages to be highly entertaining and like its predecessor, successfully pushes all the right emotional buttons. Throughout much of the film, I had to rummage around my bag for tissues.

Overall, I liked it a lot and was generally impressed with the production values. However, I did cringe and scratch my head a few times at the clunky dialogue. Yeah, well... I'm a writer and it's the kind of stuff that jumps out at me even when I'm half asleep. Not that I was falling asleep, of course.

That said, it is good drama and the performances were credible -- a huge step forward from Fireproof. I found myself caring about the main characters and their families. And I laughed a lot. Non-Christians may find it a tad preachy but at least they will hear something of what Christians believe.

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