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Having done Family Fun Times posts on 3 movies from the Kendrick Brothers, Facing the Giants, Courageous, and War Room, I recently realized I missed an important one… Fireproof. Like all the Kendrick Brothers films, Fireproof is a great movie. It addresses a marriage relationship that is in trouble and headed for divorce.
Like the other Kendrick Brothers films, RaShell and I saw Fireproof together in the theater when it came out. Unlike the other films, however, we delayed allowing our young children to see it right away due to the seriousness of the issues it deals with. For example, avoiding internet pornography was briefly mentioned in Facing the Giants, but it is dealt with far more directly in this film as we see the damage it can inflict on a marriage relationship. Other Kendrick Brothers films deal with the issue of marriage, but the marriage portrayed here in the beginning of the film presents a marriage in a condition that we didn’t initially know how to share with our children, but we knew we didn’t want it to influence anything about what their definition of marriage was in their little minds. It surprised me that the film industry gave “Courageous” a PG-13 rating presumably because it deals with guns, drugs and gang violence, but the film industry apparently feels internet pornography, a toxic marriage, and marital unfaithfulness warrant the lesser rating. So the movie deals with some intense problems. For that reason, you might want to watch this one as parents first and figure out how you will address these issues with your children, especially if one of those lines of questions should arise as little minds try to figure out just what is going on here.
So, as I said before, the movie does not shy away from dealing with intense problems. However, the movie also deals with some intense solutions to problems. The most intense solution to any intense problem is a relationship with Jesus Christ where you can now lean on Him and on His strength to get you through problems you are up against. I don’t want to give away the movie, but salvation is the turning point in the movie – just like real life. Like real life again, we see that salvation, while a turning point, doesn’t miraculously change every bad thing into good and that there are still trials to work through and challenges to face afterward – but with the power of Jesus to help you. After salvation, we see someone find the courage to go “all out” to save a marriage even when what he’s doing isn’t being reciprocated. I have always been an advocate for marriage and against divorce, but I will admit that at a couple points in this film I thought they might as well do the divorce because they were not going to be able to fix this one. It is impressive to watch someone continue to reach out (through “The Love Dare”) to someone who is not returning, or even appreciating, their effort.
Despite the intense material dealt with in the movie, the Kendrick Brothers still find places to insert some great comedy relief that helps to keep you within the boundaries of one box of Kleenex (instead of multiple). There are also a fair number of action scenes to keep you on the edge of your seat as we follow Captain Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron) through the adventures with his Fire Station crew that show him to be a hero. It definitely has the Kendrick Brothers masterful mix of intensely serious subject matter, exciting action scenes, and comedy that is genuinely funny but doesn’t distract from the serious plot.
So, overall, it is a very good movie. I recommend watching it. Even share with your children once you have prepared yourself for potential questions that may arise. However, honestly, due to the serious nature of the subject matter, if you spend the afternoon at our house, you’ll probably hear more quotes from Facing the Giants than Fireproof.