'Courageous' blurs lines

I was stunned recently when I went to see the Sherwood Pictures film Courageous. I had seen two of their other films, Facing The Giants and Fireproof, starring Kirk Cameron, and both of those movies surprised me.

 

I remember thinking it was pretty good filmmaking – for a church. Both had strong evangelical Christian messages, but it was obvious the filmmakers were striving for a Hollywood-level of quality.

But Courageous is different. I’m not sure you can really call this a “Christian film.”

As a consumer and a movie aficionado, I see two things lacking at the box office today: brilliant writing, and halfway-decent acting. But not unlike the classics, Courageous taps into that long-repressed desire that moviegoers might have thought they’d lost. It reaches into our hearts and touches something sensitive with a great story and, in today’s culture, a badly needed message – all delivered by seasoned storytellers. The studios used to know how to deliver that. Well, one still does.

Courageous’ plot is more expansive than that of the two previous Sherwood films I’ve seen, allowing viewers to come alongside the life and struggles of several characters. Then we watch how their separate stories converge in a powerful climax.

The impetus for this project was the issue of fatherhood in America. It’s such an important issue; are we going to pay attention to this?

But when do “Christian films” cross the line? When are “Christian films” no longer “Christian films”? I’d say it’s when they cross the line to become good films made by Christian people. Courageous is just a good movie regardless of your spiritual perspective. But it also carries with it the message of an undeniable call to action for fathers today.

It appears Sherwood Pictures is making a lot of headway on a mission to an under-served market in America.

Dylan Bredengerd

North Augusta, S.C.

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