A Rare “Image of Dad” Movie Review – “Courageous”
I realized just how cynical I can be when I took in the first few minutes of the new movie from Sherwood Baptist Church called “Courageous”. It tells the story of five men who are in different stages and situations of fatherhood. The theme of movie centers on the need for fathers to be better than “good enough” in the life of their kids. The film also alludes to the need for men to engage in mentoring with kids whose life situation finds them without fatherly presence and guidance.
I have to admit that I felt cynical at the onset of the film. The writing is very deliberate. You can see that each scene, dialogue, action sequence or funny moment (which are really funny) all point to the overarching engagement and challenge to men to live up to the calling of fatherhood. At first, it turned me off.
Then I realized the boldness of the people from Sherwood Pictures. Can we say…wait for it…courage?
This film has a purpose that guides everything in it. It is driven by statistics that motivated making the movie, by societal problems they link to the subject matter and by a faith which we believe reconciles it all. It does not apologize for being exactly what it is. An inspiration to men everywhere to take on their responsibilities, priorities, legacy and faith seriously and intentionally. After I realized how deeply the people who made this film believe in what was on the screen (from the producers to the actors to the ones who did the decals on the police cruisers, all of this film was made by a Church), my glib shell was cracked and I was hooked.
For a “faith evoking” movie (my alternative moniker for “faith-based”) it pulls no punches on the reality of family, the dangers of law enforcement and tragedy of loss. It successfully balances the heart wrenching moments of real life with the joy of true friendship and family. It ties itself together in a line drawn for he who might dare call himself father. Then it encourages us to step-up in courage.