Monday, January 23, 2012

Why the Movie Courageous Is Not Great

I have been hearing a lot of hype about the movie Courageous. I finally decided to watch it. Raising children is an arduous task. Movies that help make people better parents are desperately needed.

So, while I applaud the movie makers and feel it was a good movie, I also think it could have been better.

The First Reason the Movie Is Not Great

Too many storylines diluted the main story. For example, in a story about raising children, one subplot dealt with a dirty cop, while another dealt with a man struggling to find a good job.

Yes, we should all be people of integrity. I’ve always loved this verse:

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. ~1 Corinthians 16:13

Just as we should be mature Christians when we marry, it just follows we should also be mature Christians when we decide to have children. And, so, in that light, I can see the writers of the movie are saying we should serve as good examples to our children.

Yet that should have been a given, and the movie should have addressed some of the grittier problems of parenthood. Raising children correctly takes a tremendous amount of determination and energy. Unfortunately, many “Christians” take the view we can simply beat submission into our children. (Not that the movie advocated that.)

One Facet of the Movie I Liked

The movie did focus on one thing I have said many times. Now, right now, in this moment, when the sands of time slip so quickly through your fingers, spend every moment you possibly can with your children, create memories, teach lessons, and, yes, dance with them.

And that may mean giving up our own interests until our children have matured. Or, allowing them to be part of what we do, even when that becomes messier and more hectic. baby

When we took our young sons fishing one time, hooks got tangled into trees and fish finned small hands. My youngest son slipped on the sloping bank, grabbed for a hold around the leg of the chair where my other son sat. Sons and chair tumbled down the bank into the creek.

I looked at Carl and asked, “Are we having fun yet?”

A little of this was shown in the movie when the father decided to begin running with his son. I just wish more had been shown.

Another Reason the Movie Is Not Great

And that brings me to another reason Courageous was not the movie I had hoped it would be. It did not show these messy moments of childhood. It gave pat answers to difficult problems.

Let me give just one example. Here’s a quote from the movie:

Nathan Hayes: "Jade, I brought you here because I want to tell you how grateful I am that God gave you to me. I see my daughter becoming a beautiful young woman. And I can understand how any young man would be drawn to you. But I would also like for you to know that, as your father, I want the very, very best for you. One day, I'll give you away to another man, and I want that man to love God more than anything. Because if he does, then he'll love you. And I know how young men think. They want to win your heart, but they don't know how to treasure it. So I'd like to make an agreement with you. Jade, if you'll trust me with your heart, and allow me to approve any young man that desires to have more than friendship with you, I promise to take care of you and give you my full blessing when God shows us the right one."

Does the daughter say, “Hold on, Dad. You have to approve anyone I go out with? You’re kidding, right?” No, instead she says, “I will.”

Not many fifteen-year-old girls would agree to that—not without a long, heart-wrenching conversation. It’s not going to be that easy, folks. Not unless you have very compliant children. And, not unless you have proven over and over and over that you do have your child’s best interest at heart.

The Last Reason

Another part of the movie I did not like was the portrayal of the women as almost saintly. Only the wife of Javier had one weak moment when she wanted her husband to lie to keep his job, and she quickly repented of that.

Women are just as sinful of men. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Not every mother is a perfect mother.

In Conclusion

I did think Courageous was a good movie, and we need more movies like it. However, I felt it could have been an excellent movie. It missed the mark.

As we all do being merely human. I hope the next movie will delve a little deeper and not simply give pat answers but show us the true struggles Christians face. Movies parents need.

I hope Sherwood Pictures will be courageous enough to step up to the plate and bring us such a movie!


  1. Hi Kyle,
    In that it calls for parents, especially fathers, to become what God wants them to be, yes, that's great.

    In showing how to achieve that with real-life problems, not so great.

    I thought it was a good movie, one that could have been great with a little tweaking.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  2. Thanks for your review! I love their other movies and still plan to see this one. My expectations have been lowered now so it will probably be GREAT in my eyes! That's usually how it works: someone says a movie is AWESOME (I have high expectations) then I see it and--eh, not so much. Then someone says a movie isn't that good (low expectations) and I see an AMAZING movie watching it! Weird.

    I hope to see it soon. I'll let you know what I think! :)

  3. Thanks, Anji. I'm the same way. I know you'll like it. It's a good movie!

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.