This past weekend Freed-Hardeman showed the movie "Courageous" at the campus theater. The movie packed both theaters during the 2 showings and it caused quite a buzz in my dorm afterwards. Just about everyone I saw last weekend were talking about it. And I am here to tell you it was one of the best movies I have ever seen. Not because of the acting, lighting, camera angles, special effects, stars, or computer graphics. Quite the opposite. I loved it without all of the things I just mentioned.
This film was produced by Sherwood Pictures, a ministry of the Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. This is their 4th film to be released. The other 3 are Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof. Those following these movies will quickly point out that each movie gets progressively better in film quality, acting, writing, and story line and Courageous is the best so far. Over half of the actors are members of the congregation and all actors are volunteers. In an era were movie film budgets can well exceed $500 million in production costs it is a breath of fresh air to see a movie with such a wholesome message being shot and produced under a reported $2 million. The movie opened in over 1.000 theaters nationwide and grossed nearly $10 mission dollars. To date the movie has grossed nearly $35 million with the DVD release just now taking place.
There is great humor throughout the movie, good action scenes, and many a Kleenex moments in the movie. Focusing on the lives of 4 police officers and their families, the movie hammers home the theme of the movie which is fathers taking up the responsibility of being a Christian father and doing everything it takes to be the man God wants us to be. It is such a powerful movie and it approaches life from so many different angles that nearly anyone can relate to it in some way. The predominately student body crowd at the theater was totally into the movie with roars of laughter and audible crying during several scenes. The movie certainly took everyone on an emotional roller coaster ride.
My favorite character by far was Javier Martinez. Anyone who saw the movie knows who he is and are probably laughing right now at just the mention of his name. My favorite funny scene was Javier riding in the back of the police car as the leader of the infamous "Snake Kings." My favorite "tear jerker" scene was when Adam Mitchell returned to the place where he completed a dance that he did not do with his daughter prior to her sudden death in a car accident. My most inspirational scene was when Nathan Hayes took his daughter out to a fancy dinner and challenged her by giving her a purity ring. Best action scene was the shootout and arrest of the drug dealers and the best line was during Adam's sermon, "I will!"
If you have not yet seen this movie you need to get a copy and pick a movie night to watch it. Be ready to laugh, cry, hold your breath, and applaud. Be ready to be challenged because this movie hits home in many different ways. You will not be disappointed and you will probably do just like me and feel the need to spread the word.