Our church held a showing of the movie, Courageous, that was out in theaters probably some time last century. But we don't get to the theater that often, so for us, it was a first time viewing. For free! Well, mostly free. I did buy some popcorn and nachos for the kids to help out the youth group who were selling movie snacks to raise money for camp. All for a good cause. So if you haven't seen the movie yet because you were waiting for it on DVD, this review might be helpful for you. If you have seen it, you can read and see if I'm a lunatic and way off base in my opinions here. Whichever.
I don't know about you, but I'm always pretty skeptical about quote-unquote Christian movies. I love the Lord. I love that there are more movies being made to glorify Him. But I'm also quite picky about what I spend time watching and want it to be worth my time staring at moving pictures on a screen. It's got to captivate me or why bother?
I started getting my hopes up a bit with the movie Soul Surfer. While I still feel that some of the acting could have been bumped up a notch in that movie, overall, Soul Surfer is probably my favorite deliberately Christian movie ever. And I've watched it multiple times and bought the DVD, so that says a lot. I'm not one to watch movies repeatedly -- even when they're really good. C, yes; me, no.
So anyway, I'd heard Courageous was good, but I was still going in with a chip on my shoulder about how good it could possibly be. I was pleasantly surprised!
The Pro's List:
- Nice variety of situations and story lines.
- Lots of action scenes to keep the guys more interested in a movie that, I think, is mostly aimed at them.
- Generally family friendly, with a few exceptions.
- Good plot movement. A complete story, leaving no gaps or unanswered questions at the end.
- Nice film-work, scripting and soundtrack.
The Con's List:
- It didn't hold the attention of our youngest kids, because I think some of the themes are way over their heads at this point.
- There were a couple scenes when I was particularly glad the youngest kids weren't watching -- one gang-initiation fight scene; one cops vs. "bad guys" gun battle (though there was no blood or gore ever in the movie); and some frightening moments that were necessary in the story, but might confuse younger kids who managed to stay engaged.
- While scripting, acting and soundtrack were really well-done, I had a little trouble with the pacing of some of the conversations. It's like they're trying to talk slow and deliberate to make a big point, so instead of talking like people would normally, there are a lot more dramatic pauses and overly explaining things than I felt were necessary. These weren't "cheesy" moments, I wouldn't say, but maybe a little watch-checking at times. During these moments I started to think about other things I could be doing with my time, let's say. But then they'd pick back up and all was well.
C did not get to come see the movie with us because he was cooking up a storm for our good friend, JSW, who is graduating from home school tomorrow afternoon and having a big ol' celebration after the official ceremony (being held as part of the annual CAPE-NM conference). C offered to help prepare the food to feed the 80-90 guests planning to attend. Our house smells wonderful!
But I did tell him about it and though I think he's already a man of courage with many of the fine qualities one looks for in a godly man (as portrayed by the movie), I said he might enjoy the movie anyway. I think he might appreciate that there are movies like this to help inspire other men to stand up in faith and courage to be defenders of their families. If he does catch it on DVD later, I'll have to get back to you about a man's perspective on the film.
Anyway, I do hope to see this one again. I liked it! Overall, I do recommend it to you.