Fireproof, The Movie Review


Tiffany and I went to see the movie Fireproof last night. As we sat down to wait for the movie to start, it felt like a Harpeth Heights Bapstist Church reunion on a non-church day. At least half of the people in the audience were from our church. As our Executive Pastor had “pimped” the movie, it did not surprise me. What was the most surprising to me, however, is how little business theaters are doing today.

About the movie

The acting will not win any Academy Awards. It does not have the lighting, the editing, or the acting to win awards. On the other hand, it is better than the acting in Facing The Giants, the previous success from the Kendrick brothers. The lighting and film work are also better.

The movie is also a definite Christian film. It is unlikely to draw the big audience that Passion did a few years ago. I also do not see it matching the box office Facing the Giants made. This is not saying it is a horrible film, by any means. Just that it has a definite audience in mind.

Like other Christian films, there is the obligatory evangelistic scene. In this film, it works for a couple of reasons. First, it is between a father and his son. You can see a father talking to his son in this manner. Second, it takes place over a large amount of time. Third, while there is a final overt message, the conversation primarily beats around the bush, as one would in real life. Finally, the conversion does not change everything instantly for the better. In fact, some of the deepest turmoil in the film takes place just prior to the resolution.

There are some scenes that are quite predictable. In fact, if you have watched any films, you will know the devices by heart. Some are from so far out in left field, they would require ignore them coming at you to have them hit you by surprise.

On the positive side, the film deals with marriage in a realistic manner. Subjects like dual marital accounts, infidelity and pornography are not taboo. Like with many married people, these subjects rear their ugly heads and require effort from the individuals involved to solve them.

Will you like the film? I guess it depends on what you expect. If you are looking for the big budget Hollywood look, I would say no. If you are looking for the Sundance Indie, I would say no. If you want an overtly Christian film, jump on for the ride. If you would like to examine your own marriage, it might be a good starting place.

For the atheist, if you can get past the overtly Christian themes and scenes, the film has some good moments. And, I believe anyone who has a struggling marriage can take something away from it, even if he disagrees with the Christian message.

I would like to see a Christian film one day the presents the day to day life without the churchy talk and attitude. Fortunately this film does cover some things in a non-churchy way; unfortunately, those moments are not the bulk of the film.

 Strong Christians do not spend all of their time being churchy. And it would be nicer if we could stop hiding the elephant in the room by ignoring it is there. I truly believe the church today could be more effective if it would handle the tough issues straight on rather than ignoring them.

Peace and Grace,
Greg

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